Sunday, March 30, 2008

Russian Beverage...Just for Women

A new Russian vodka , Damskaya, is heavily campaigning its brand as the vodka made for women, apparent in the slogan, "Just between us girls." Advertisements include the violet-colored bottle with its curvy design (no doubt intended to resemble the female body), dressed in a flowing white skirt that portrays a Marilyn Monroe flirtatious look. Damaskaya created a very powerful marketing campaign in order to generate female sales. Their strategy plans to target the 25-45 year old female market, with an average income, as opposed to the upper middle class women, who may have developed a palate more inclined to drinking dry wine.

This campaign strategy seems groundbreaking, as it defies Russian advertising precedent. Throughout Russian history, vodka has been considered a masculine drink and positioned as such. Taking on a different angle-with the repositioning of vodka as a drink that women can enjoy, sitting around the table with her girlfriends-may prove fatal to Damskaya's brand image. A serious advertisement campaign is vital in order to stay afloat, since the company is choosing to only target the female demographic, which means they are missing out on a large segment of the vodka-buying market.

Skepticism exists among the country, with many believing that this novel marketing strategy only leads to the furtherance of alcoholism in Russia. With an estimated 10% of the country suffering from alcoholism, some fear that a vodka brand targeted solely at women will create an increase in the number of women drinking alcohol, as well as an increase in the amount of female alcoholic consumption. In particular ads, the brand is labeled as a "healthy" beverage. Such labels, although legal in Russia, are not necessarily ethical, considering the substantial negative effects that result from frequent alcohol intake. This sort of health labeling produces a skewed message about the effects of alcohol, vodka specifically. While producing a less than accurate association between health benefits and vodka in Russia, Damskaya is not held to the same corporate social responsibility in Russia that it would be subject to if it were to consider marketing in such countries as the United States.

Misleading advertising in relation to alcohol health effects, surely limits the international advertising available to an alcohol brand such as Damskaya, especially in the United States where advertising is strictly regulated.

So positioning the brand as the beverage for women to sip on after a work-out in the gym, would not earn the brand the international success that it may reap while stationed in Russia, killing any potential dreams of reaching the status of such Russian vodka brands as Stolichnaya.

[Lileston, Randy. "Russian Distiller Creates Vodka Just For Women." USA Today 21
Mar. 2008. 30 Mar. 2008 russian-distill.html>.]

[Schwirtz, Michael. "Russian Vodka With a Feminine Kick." The New York Times 30
Mar. 2008. The New York Times. 30 Mar. 2008 03/30/fashion/30vodka.html>. ]

1 comment:

Kim Gregson said...

good post - bib ino at the end

5 points