Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bondi blow-up dolls

You have to admire vodka brand 42 Below’s marketing strategy.

They really are unafraid to take risks and are famous for their cheeky and controversial ad campaigns.

Their latest work, by Sydney creative hotshop The Glue Society, sees a group of strange figures who are dressed in white and doing weird installations across New Zealand and Australia. In one of the executions they’ve set up 100 inflatable sex dolls on Bondi Beach.

In other executions, the white-clad group set up a rainbow of plastic chairs in the snow.

They also have wrapped a street of cars with Christmas paper, set up a UFO-style shell in the New Zealand highlands, created a giant coloured snowman in Sydney’s Circular Quay and repainted the roof of a skyscraper. See them at

The installations are all part of a global campaign promoting 42 Below’s “Because we can” brand positioning. The web-based movement is aimed at celebrating those with a spirit of adventure, free thinkers, as well as to honour actions that are done for no reason other than for happiness, intrigue or exploration.

42 Below is encouraging the public to get involved with its own user-generated content, and is offering a US$4200 prize each month for the best submission.

As I said before, the premium alcohol brand has had no problem differentiating itself from its competitors. Being unique is something that 42 Below has spruiked from its early beginnings, as these ads show.

In the space of a just a few years, 42 Below has gone from being a tiny vodka brand based in Auckland to a global player that was snapped by drinks giant Bacardi for NZ$138 million in 2006. And marketing has played a massive role in its phenomal growth.

So does being different ultimately pay off?

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