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How does one become the world’s no 1 vodka? Great stories start with great character, a little mystery, and a mischievous plan. Smirnoff’s story is no different. It spans three centuries and several continents but is little known to our consumers. So we took this opportunity to introduce them to our past, a story of epic proportions lined with highly unconventional—and sometimes questionable—choices. This global campaign told the story of deception, revolution, exile, bankruptcy, and resurrection — a tale of deliciously mischievous characters and original concoctions. From conception in 1864 Russia, all the way to the present day, this is a living story of infamy.
From Smirnoff’s conception in 1864 Russia, all the way to the present day, this is a living story of infamy. We shot the campaign in Budapest, Hungary, with access to milieus that reflect every decade and multiple continents—from 1860s factory to 1960s espionage movie and beyond. Every scene was meticulously brought to life with intricate and time-specific production design as well as wardrobe.
The campaign helped reverse a decade’s long decline in Smirnoff sales, leading to growth for the World’s No. 1 Vodka for the first time in 10 years.