You know that your advertising campaign has arrived if it's spoofed, copied and enters pop culture. Or, if you can make an ad in the campaign that does the exact opposite of what is expected and the audience gets it, because they know the joke by now. The long running Smirnoff campaign has reached this coveted make-fun-of-itself status.
Smirnoff has always played on being the wicked spirit, as you can see in this ad from 1968 (above), it's been the vodka a little more daring for centuries.
So in in the early 1990's when Lowe was creating a new campaign for Smirnoff, the proposition word of the brief was wicked, and the proposition itself read: Smirnoff, the wicked spirit.
The brief rambled on about young peoples drinking habits and the other side and before the clients had corrected their ties a clever team spat out a visual showing what you could see through the bottle, which in all likelyhood was conceived as their stared through an empty one late one night trying to meet a deadline. A cinema ad was made, directed by Tony Kaye no less, and hundreds of visual solutions for the bottle trick was churned out in every creative office of Lowe worldwide and neatly stacked in binders. You are all very familiar with this campaign by now, aren't you?
Now, ten years later, that the bottle-idea has reached icon status, Smirnoff doesn't need it anymore. Here's their latest poster that went up in London this week.
No bottle. Smirnoff straight. ... my isn't the river....eh.. straight?
I promise, there is no 'bottle'-gag, here's an enlargment, see for yourself. They don't need the bottle anymore.
I'll have a Smirnoff, straight, please.