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There’s a new drink in town…

Media release
July 2002

There’s a new drink in town…

New Zealand’s most preferred vodka combined with a sharp citrus taste, Smirnoff Ice is the latest ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) to hit the local market.

If the success of Smirnoff Ice in the UK, and other major international markets, is anything to go by, Smirnoff Ice is set be a huge hit locally. Smirnoff Ice has sold over 1.5 billion bottles in more than 20 countries since it was first launched in 1998. Such success has also had a strong spin off for the Smirnoff mother brand.

Smirnoff Ice has already been given the royal stamp of approval - earlier this month the British tabloids reported that Prince Harry was seen downing Smirnoff Ice at a polo club in Gloucestershire! On a more serious note, according to UK marketing magazine, Smirnoff Ice has been touted as one of the most successful product launches in the liquor industry of recent years.

With a sharper taste than most vodka based RTD’s, Smirnoff Ice is aimed at young men looking for a great tasting alternative drink. The distinctive packaging and bottle are designed with more of a male drinker in mind, with a larger 335ml bottle and 5.5% alc/vol. This new vodka drink is perfect for nights on the town, watching sport with friends, or parties. The convenience and affordability of Smirnoff Ice are sure to make it an appealing drink for young New Zealand males.

“Smirnoff Ice combines pure Smirnoff red vodka with a sharp citrus taste, specifically targeting the young male consumer,” says New Zealand Wines & Spirits Brand Manager Amanda Sexton. “It has purposely been blended to eliminate the sweetness and to appeal to a more masculine market.”

“The launch of Smirnoff Ice in all major markets has been something quite phenomenal,” says Ms Sexton. “The great taste, combined with the strength of the Smirnoff brand and unique advertising ensures Smirnoff Ice will be a hit in New Zealand too.”

“The introduction of Smirnoff Ice really adds strength to the Smirnoff mother brand, as it extends Smirnoff to a new format that is convenient and affordable,” says Ms Sexton. “We already know that Smirnoff is New Zealand’s most preferred vodka, and Smirnoff Ice ties in well with everything that Smirnoff stands for – young, intelligent and ready to party.”

“Smirnoff Ice’s catch phrase is ‘Intelligent Nightlife’, and this encapsulates everything that Smirnoff Ice, as a brand, symbolises. It’s all about the witty, on-the-ball antics of young men,” says Ms Sexton. “Smirnoff products aren’t just for drinking, they’re about saying something about yourself.”

“In addition, our advertising campaign, which is due to kick off in August, follows this same theme. We think that most people will find it quite amusing, and there are sure to be many young men out there who will identify with the ads,” she says.

Ms Sexton points out that there are many myths surrounding the RTD market, and contrary to popular belief, men make up the largest portion of ready to drink consumers.

“RTD’s have long been labelled as ‘chick’ drinks, however a recent survey in Australia found that some 85% of RTD drinkers are male, and that a large portion of sales, around 70%, go to those 25 years and over. The local market is surprisingly similar to that across the Tasman, with a significant portion of RTD drinkers being male.

“With the addition of more mature RTD’s such as Smirnoff Ice, such trends will continue to transform the marketplace, offering consumers an alternative to both sweet, coloured pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, and to beer,” she says. “As local drinkers become more aware of what is available, the market will continue to change to cater for a more savvy and sophisticated audience.”

Smirnoff Ice is available from all good liquor outlets and bars throughout New Zealand. (RRP is$9.95 for a 4-pack.)


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