4,262 $m
Smirnoff, which dates back to the 1800s, is working to find the proper balance between a heritage story and keeping pace with seemingly endless upstarts in the vodka category. The world’s largest vodka brand (controlling 6.5 percent of the global vodka market, ahead of Absolut at #2 with 2.6 percent) announced a shake-up of its own this year. The brand hired 72andSunny as its new global creative agency of record in August. It remains to be seen where a new creative and marketing direction will take a brand that has seen steady results continue into 2013 behind promotional vehicles like VH1’s Smirnoff Master of the Mix reality show and its art- and social media-fueled “Midnight Circus” global tour. Parent company Diageo’s promotion of Innovation Director Syl Saller to CMO indicates that innovation remains a priority for the Smirnoff brand, which has been launching new variations globally (such as Honey and Coconut in Australia, or Kissed Caramel and Iced Cake in the US) to meet consumer demand for flavored vodkas. By promoting vodka as an experience and not just an ingredient, the brand will continue to expand its appeal across users and regions, even touching the emerging global middle class with Smirnoff 1818. With fresh creative thinking in the works, the Smirnoff brand must continue to grow and deliver to stay ahead of the increasingly competitive vodka market.