Superheroes with a vision
Published:  27 August, 2008

It's an immense and growing category, accounting for around one fifth of all spirits drunk globally. The vodka world - ever more crowded, with fierce battles for market share - is becoming increasingly tough . Never short on innovation, brand owners, producers and distributors are having to fight harder to maintain and grow their chunk of business, and this typically translates into ever more off-beat and original ways to stimulate interest in brands.

For the biggest names, this can mean huge global spends. But for smaller, niche and self-styled super- and ultra-premium products, clever use of technology to enhance and spread the word about music and lifestyle tie-ins, along with innovative twists to the range, are typical of the action taken. A dazzling array of designers, fashion icons, artists, socialites, charity tie-ins and now almost old-fashioned seeming sessions of mixological skills maintain this category's reputation as one of the most vibrant areas of life in terms of the marketing of alcoholic drinks.

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Joe Bates

Why duty free must do better

It’s one of the worst PR disasters to have hit the duty free industry in the almost two decades i’ve been covering the business.

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