The Russian Revolution and vodka branding

18 August 2007

Here is an ad for Stolichnaya vodka:

And here is an ad for Smirnoff:

It’s clear that these spots have been developed in direct opposition to each other. There are strong similarities, like the growing red line signifying movement through space and time, and the narrative (through captions or voiceover) explaining the vodka’s story in terms of Russian history. But each has a distinctive, striking visual style, and each presents a different take on Russian history.

Stoli is the vodka of a strong and determined Russian people, while Smirnoff is the vodka of an individual who resists tyranny and succeeds against the odds. The Cold War continues, and the new front lines are in the alcohol marketing departments.

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