One of my favorite ad campaigns is the Gentlemen campaign by Kettle One vodka. I love the ads because they express a common male pursuit so vividly, coolness. The ads show a group of guys doing very guy-like things like playing pool or poker. The ads resemble a scene from Ocean's Eleven or a Bond film. The black and white mixed with the driving blues rhythm is incredibly stimulating and it all helps spotlight the lifestyle of a gentleman who drinks Kettle One. The gents in the ad are handsome, fun, and confident and comfortable in all situations.
I personally hate vodka but if I were ever to buy it, I'd buy Kettle One simply because of the ad. And that really doesn't make any sense. What I've realized is that vodka is a pretty standard product. Across the market, vodka is basically vodka. If you had to distinguish you could say that there is cheap vodka and good vodka but flavors and colors aside, products in the market are incredibly similar. So what are brands to do to create a unique point of difference? It's all about the brand identity. Kettle One has carved out an identity for itself that resembles Errol Flynn, James Bond and Danny Ocean rolled into one. So, when you're standing in the liquor aisle staring at 15 bottles of bland, colorless liquid, you begin to see the identity of the brand stamped on the bottle. In that sense, Kettle One is selling smoke and air as much as its selling booze.