AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: A New Zealand vodka currently selling 10,000 cases per month worldwide is rely on a cheeky viral ad and guerilla marketing campaign to increase awareness in the US.
42Below, so-named because of New Zealand's hemispheric location, is not going down the traditional PR path, according to Angela Barnett, "marketing blokette" for the company.
The brand is currently sold in 15 markets, and the company is putting a lot of energy into New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
"We're getting our stories out there, and haven't been afraid of controversy," Barnett says. "We're very anti-corporate; we like to have a good time and that comes through in our advertising."
The first viral ad toyed with stereotypes and misconceptions of New Zealand and its relationship with Australia.
It weaves in such New Zealand lore as its rugby, America's Cup sailing teams, hobbits, and tiki masks. The advertisement ends with a postcard from "Sydney, New Zealand."
"It got us some media," Barnett said. "It's noise that gets things going."
42Below has also produced print ads poking fun at the French, Germans, and other cultures.
The company has created a brand book, designed like a magazine, for cafes, coffee shops and advertising agencies. Actor Jeremy Piven has worn the brand shirt on ESPN's morning show Cold Pizza.
Party sponsorship is also a large campaign component. 42Below chose Vice magazine as one co-sponsor because the magazine is irreverent and "outrageously naughty."
Despite its humorous approach, the company is also pushing its message of brand purity.
It is in talks with Rogan Jeans, a brand using organic fabric from Africa, for potentially sponsoring a party during next year's fashion week.