LOS ANGELES: Stolichnaya has launched an effort to reinvigorate its standing among in-the-know vodka drinkers by tapping into both Russian czar grandeur and contemporary cocktail culture via built-to-order temporary hotels.
The Stoli Hotels are specially built for month-long engagements in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, said Adam Rosen, senior brand manager of the Purchase, NY-based spirit company. The debut property, a 10,000-square-foot space in Hollywood, opened May 2 with a full-service spa, VIP gifting suite, and invitation-only event lineup including celebrity DJ nights and DVD-release parties.
Inspired by the Hotel Moskva - the historic Red Square hotel pictured on Stoli labels - the pop-up hotels do have functional guest rooms. But with their mix of Old World Eastern European luxury, hi-tech gadgetry, and Stoli vodka-based specialty drinks, the hotels are designed more to inspire on-site buzz than house overnight travelers.
Stoli worked with agencies including TTC PR, Legacy Marketing Partners, and interactive firm Fly Communications "to [go to] the people who can help us spread the word," Rosen said, such as bartenders, trendsetters, and influencers.
The PR team reached stakeholders through venue promotions, partnerships with local club promoters, and extensive media relations. Online, a virtual Stoli Hotel invites consumers to experience the actual property through its in-room security cameras.
According to Rosen, this "umbrella program" approach marks a change in strategy for Stolichnaya, acquired by Pernod Ricard USA in 2005.
Though Stoli is "very much in the competitive set among vodkas," Rosen said, the brand's consumer messaging has suffered from lack of focus in recent years. But
The Stoli Hotel's integrated marketing program is designed to "reinforce the message that Stoli is genuine, authentic Russian vodka."