Brands and Politics:  Smirnoff Pokes Fun At Donald Trump In New Campaign


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How The Vodka Brand Is Using The Russian Investigation To Its Advantage

Needless to say, the political climate in the United States and abroad has had its share of extremes in the last year.   President Donald Trump has redefined the idea of the political celebrity, and many brands have hopped on board to tap into the changing and divisive political sphere.

After the election, Tecate poked fun at the border wall and now, Smirnoff is having its fun with the Russia investigation.

In this blog, Hollywood Branded takes a look at how Smirnoff is using Donald Trump's negative press to boost their own brand in their new marketing campaign.

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Smirnoff's New Ads

The well known and reputable vodka company was started in Russia and has since been purchased by a British beverage company, but is proudly brewed in America. Its new ads say as much, while seemingly making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the ongoing investigation into the President's ties with Russia.

The ad features a Smirnoff bottle with what appears to be a Moscow mule in front of it, judging by the classic copper mug, alluding to the capital of Russia. The text next to the bottle reads "Made in America... But we'd be happy to talk about our ties with Russia under oath." 


This ad puts itself right in the middle of the current headlines regarding Russia and the Trump administration, coming to a peak last Thursday when former head of FBI James Comey testified. By leveraging the President's celebrity star power as well as the momentum of a good scandal, the brand has made themselves part of the news.

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While the ads themselves are simple billboards and street sign ads, their social media reach has been what makes them so successful. Tweeted by various users in tweets that have since gone viral, the ad campaign has reached millions of viewers on social media alone. One reporter was retweeted over 17,533 times, with over 36k favorites.

Why The Marketing Campaign Works

Whatever your political opinions, it's impossible to avoid the ongoing news on both sides. That's what makes this ad work - it's funny, simple, and relevant. Donald Trump is both a celebrity and a political figure and the ad uses this to its advantage without being point-blank.

Another reason why this campaign works is because of its grassroots virality. The brand itself didn't use social media to promote its own campaign - rather, it let the ad catch its own momentum, resulting in a huge response from Twitter.

Including a celebrity like Donald Trump in your marketing campaign can bring both good and bad press, no matter how you do it - but nonetheless, it is a topic that will get your brand talked about.

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