Friend of the blog Visitor Design sent this to us via Twitter on Friday night. Get it? It means that Wódka is the kind of vodka that’s here to pay off its student loans and has its own well-designed website, but it costs the same as the kind of cheap hooch hustling the corner for enough cash for another night at the motel. It’s a smooth marketing take on the commonly assumption that sex workers are doing one of two things: either ho-ing from sheer desperation or enjoying a pampered, rarefied existence thanks to the largesse of generous men. Because you know the language: escorts are expensive and hookers are cheap. While there are certainly sex workers who charge a lot and sex workers who don’t charge so much, I can’t imagine this ad saying something like “Model Quality, Girl Next Door Pricing.” Oh, wait. This is a liquor ad. That could totally happen.
But: There’s a sheep in that ad. In this context, the image of the sheep leads us to a darker place, one where, when desperate men think of the relative pricing and availability of prostitutes, may ponder the free option. Wódka, what are you going to do to that lamb? A willingness to associate your product with bestiality is truly a maverick move.
What would be another useful analogy for this campaign? Why, seafood, of course.
Coming soon: “Cocaine Quality, Meth Pricing.”
ETA: Another fine metaphor, found at copyranter.
You know, it’s not like the liquor industry is hurting. Why do they keep coming out with bizarre and, the majority of the time, offensive ads? Why can’t they just say, “Buy our brand of vodka, we know you were planning on drinking anyway.”
I’m sure Wódka actually is hurting, since their ad strategy isn’t very smooth, probably much like their product. Upon Googling this silliness I find the forum for “pissed off people” completely dominated by the Jewish community, with no voices from the other targeted demographics. On Wódka’s website, the Christmas/Hanukkah ad (as well as the billboards formerly displayed on the West Side Highway) has been removed, though the other two, featured as a slideshow on the homepage, remain. I surmise that this is because 1) who cares how the lobster/chowder thing will be received? and 2) really, who cares how the escort/hooker thing will be received?
In an article which concentrates on the Anti-Defamation League’s outrage at the ads, Wódka CEO James Dale defends them by saying their point was to show how the latter is a “better value,” like Hanukkah, where you get “eight nights for the price of one.” Same with sex workers, apparently; with a “hooker,” it’s as simple as getting more bang for your buck (ugh, that was too easy).
Perhaps Wódka should look to such companies as Ketel One, Grey Goose, and Cîroc to see how effective that Walmart approach to selling vodka is. Billboard blacklisting or P. Diddy endorsement? Hmm…
Hmm. Add that to the list of “Things To Never Buy”.