Friday, 22 May 2009

Smirnoff - Social in mainstream advertising

It's rare that a newspaper advert gets my attention, I'm so stauchly online that i rarely acknowledge adverts in offline publications.

However, the other day, sat in the office kitchen aimlessly scanning Metro for something engaging to read (other than more woes of shameless MPs bleeding taxpayers dry!), my eyes stumbled upon a very cool and interesting Smirnoff advert.

The advert had an impactful headline: "Create the Next Smirnoff Event!". I was intrigued to know what event. I then indulged my classic 'get to the end' impatience and checked the advert footer - I saw something even more interesting; the reply URL was a Facebook page. I was intrigued enough to go back and read the full advert. And then click through to Facebook.......

Below: Facebook landing page for the "urthenight" promotion:


I liked what Smirnoff had done. They had dreamed up a new event, staged it at the O2 in London which is perfect for their target audience - fun, funky, lively & full of alcopopped teenagers with a crazed look in their eyes.

To get people engaged they created a competition to have a personalised journey to the event by boat on the Thames. All you have to do to enter is tell Smirnoff how you would start the evening, they will then "pimp up a boat with your design for an exclusive warm-up party and transport to the venue". 

The only way you can enter is via the Facebook app. A Facebook poll on their fan page will then decide the winning idea. Great way to engage people via Facebook and then let the community decide. Smirnoff has over 48,000 fans on its Facebook fan page..... yes it's only a number but that is a large number to communicate with.

The ad copy suggests this isn't the only interative element to the night and encourages people to check every Thursday for more ways to have fun with Smirnoff. I think this is a great example of a brand using social in the offline space to engage with its target audience and give them something to influence using their social networks. 

What do you think? A clever bit of offline integration into social media planning or nothing to get excited about? Let me know your take on this.