Svedka keeps edge in Halloween promo

Svedka Vodka, a spirits brand known for its futuristic style, wanted a high-profile campaign to promote a costume for its well-known fembot girl.

Svedka keeps edge in Halloween promo

Client: Svedka Vodka
Agency: Shadow PR
Campaign: Svedka_Grl Comes to Life This Halloween
Duration: September – November 2011
Budget: $100,000

Svedka Vodka, a spirits brand known for its futuristic style, wanted a high-profile campaign to promote a costume for its well-known fembot girl. In the spring of 2011, Svedka AOR Shadow PR began planning a Halloween campaign to reinforce Svedka as the over-the-top vodka brand of choice. “The Svedka marketing team tasked us with creating out-of-the-box initiatives that focused on bringing Svedka Girl to the forefront,” said Brad Zeifman, co-owner of Shadow PR.

Shadow facilitated partnerships to drive the campaign. Fashion designer Richie Rich, known for his outlandish creations, was tapped in early 2011 to create a high-fashion version of Svedka's fembot Halloween costume, known as “Svedka_Grl.” Ricky's, a trendy beauty accessories and seasonal Halloween store based primarily in New York City, served as the main retailer for the costume. “When looking for strategic partners, we always look for brands that embody our same outrageous and fun tonality,” explains Marina Hahn, CMO of Svedka.

During September's Fashion Week, Rich held a fashion show in which reality star Coco from VH1's Ice T Loves Coco finished as Svedka Girl, effectively debuting the costume and launching the campaign. Svedka made 1,000 of the so-called “Svedka_Grl” costumes available to buy via Ricky's in-store and online. Shadow utilized both Svedka and Ricky's social media pages by uploading images on Tumblr, adding specialized tabs on their Facebook pages, and tweeting discount codes through Ricky's handle.

Additionally, Shadow organized a Halloween Bar Crawl through Manhattan with models wearing the Svedka_Grl. Models stood in Ricky's windows and made appearances around the city. The PR team also worked to ensure that celebrities including Kim Zolciak of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Jenni "Jwoww" Farley from Jersey Shore wore the costume to heighten national awareness.

The costume, which was featured on Ricky's homepage, was a success. Every shipment sold out within 48 hours. Hahn said that between September 15 and November 27, Svedka Vodka saw sales increase more than 19%, more than competitors. Press coverage came from numerous outlets including the cover of NY Daily News, articles in The Wall Street Journal and Us Weekly, and a feature segment on E! Entertainment Television. Media impressions totaled nearly 6.5 million. According to Rachael Workman, senior account executive at Shadow, new venues ordered Svedka Vodka as a result of the bar crawl.

Svedka plans to bring the costume back next year.

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Marina Hahn as the CEO of Svedka. That is incorrect. She is the chief marketing officer. We regret the error.

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