Chris Brook-Carter

Paint job

By: Chris Brook-Carter - 16 October 2003 17:05

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The ordination of Snapple as the official drink of New York last month marked a new phase in the growing sophistication of drinks marketing. Marketing a message to consumers successfully is becoming an increasingly sophisticated job, with the old fashion advertising campaign lacking the impact it once had.
One of the more interesting concepts has been a switch from just sponsoring someone else's event to hosting your own. Smirnoff has gone down this root with the Smirnoff Experience, a range of dance events round the globe. Back here in the UK, Carling has been extremely successful in allying itself to the music scene, by hosting a range of rock and pop concerts and sponsoring spaces on the London Underground, for licensed buskers to perform in.
This direction is an expensive route to take of course and one alternative is the growing use of guerrilla advertising. That said there was a good piece in today's Sun newspaper about one such campaign backfiring.
According to the report, Smirnoff has placed ad slogans on the walls of a busy underpass in the city of Leeds, much to the chagrin of city councillors trying to stop youths from daubing graffiti.
An artist working for the firm used steam jets and stencils to create funky catchphrases plugging Smirnoff Ice amid the inner ring road tunnel's grime.
However, Leeds City Council has branded the slogans graffiti and condemned Smirnoff's actions as "sheer vandalism". They said the whole underpass will have to be shut for cleaning -and vowed to hand the company a bill for thousands of pounds.
Diageo, Smirnoff's owner has apparently apologised, claimed no law was broken and said they intend to clean the tunnel once the campaign ends.
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