Trade awareness initiative of the year: Stolichnaya

27 August, 2008
Page 40 
Pernod Ricard has made public its desire to purchase the Stolichnaya brand outright. As part of its Choose Authenticity global brand platform launched in 2007, the French company's Stolichnaya Brand Organisation commissioned US-based drinks industry figure David Wondrich to conduct archive research into Stolichnaya's history.

Prior to the main event planned as a result of the research - Rise Up and Join the Party, held in London on June 27 - the company hosted an event on the exclusive Ile de Bendor, a private island owned by Paul Ricard off the coast of the south of France. Specially invited drinks and bar industry figures were treated to a recreation of Stolichnaya cocktails dating back to the early 20th century.

At the Rise Up and Join the Party event itself - which won a gold medal in the Best New Event category at the Eventia UK awards in November - top bartenders were invited from as far afield as Australia, Mexico and the US. As well as a presentation by Wondrich, guests could view key historical brand facts about Stolichnaya in separate room installations and take on a Russian grandmaster at chess.

While some have questioned the wisdom of basing the marketing of any brand around iconographic art from Russia's Stalinist era, Stolichnaya has also opened a constructivist art-themed bar at the Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols in London, intended to be the home of the Choose Authenticity campaign. Plans are under way for a series of on-trade nights at which bartenders can experiment with a Rotavapour machine to create their own infusions and cocktails.

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