Smirnoff sports a new look

From today, Smirnoff vodka, the market leader in the premium category, will be available to Indian consumers in an elegantly sleeker bottle with an attractive new packaging. India is the second country after the US to be introduced to the new packaging, which will soon become Smirnoff's global standard.

"The contemporary new look is particularly relevant to the Indian market where growth for white spirits has been fuelled by aspirational lifestyle changes," Santosh Kanekar, director marketing, UDV India Ltd, told domain-b prior to unveiling the newly designed packaging in Mumbai.

Kanekar expects the new look to appeal to consumers switching over from other hard liquor varities to vodka. "In the premium category, the new look will be an additional reason for them to switch over to vodka from other categories, since research has already established the consumer 'pull' exerted by packaging and design aesthetics, " he says.

The new look was test-marketed across 3,200 consumers around the world, prior to its launch in the US last year. The packaging incorporates a tapered, embossed glass bottle and a sharp red and silver double-headed eagle logo reminiscent of the imperial Russian court awards bestowed on the brand. The new label includes the words 'triple-distilled' which emphasise the fact that the vodka undergoes a three stage distillation process, while a large '21' indicates that the product was the 21st recipe of Pierre Smirnoff who developed the flavour for this vodka.

Interestingly, Smirnoff was forced to flee from Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. Subsequently, his heirs resurrected the recipe and named it as their brand in his memory in Paris.

UDV India, part of the Diego group worldwide, has brought to the country premium brands in virtually every category. Its product portfolio includes established global market leaders such as Vat 69, Johnnie Walker and J&B scotch whiskies, Gordon's and Tanqueray gins, Bailey's liqueur, Guinness stout beer and Archers Peach Schnapps. The new Smirnoff identity will be popularised through extensive media and public relations campaigns and consumer events including music concerts across India.