To coincide with the Summer Olympic Games and the return of its Red, White, and Berry Seltzer, Smirnoff had a patriotic campaign in the works—but the pandemic had other plans.
Rather than abandoning its original campaign, Smirnoff altered it to fit current circumstances. The vodka brand’s “Hang Out From Home” campaign includes a 60-second commercial spot starring its celebrity ambassadors telling audiences why everyone should stay home. U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, wrestler David Bautista, and Orange Is The New Black actresses Laverne Cox and Dianne Guerrero all perform in the commercial, which touts the necessity of canceling plans, with each ambassador getting their own 15-second “inner monologue” spot to talk getting creative with finding new ways to keep spirits up at home. Using the hashtag #HangOutFromHome, fans can take to social media to show how they drink Smirnoff while staying home.
The campaign was originally set to debut in the summer, as it’s the season with the highest engagement rates for spirit brands according to a Gartner report, but the pandemic caused a change in plans. While customers adapt to lockdowns and quarantines, Smirnoff’s ads could remind viewers that they can still celebrate warm-weather moments while indoors. In addition to television commercials, the brand created a series of display ads with slogans such as “Twerk From Home”, “It’s Almost Happy Hour”, and “Dye Your Own Hair, For America.” To promote the campaign, the slogan ads have also been made into virtual backgrounds fans can use on video chats. The Red, White, and Berry Seltzer has been released in stores with color-changing cans, available in a 90-calorie, zero sugar version as well as the original.
Smirnoff takes a different approach than other brands by blatantly recognizing that “staying home sucks.” As such, the relatable campaign could serve as a reminder that brands, buyers, and beverages are truly all in this together.