Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skyy Ad Campaign Sells More Than Just Vodka

I think we can all agree with the statement that bad press is better than no press. The controversial advertising campaign behind Skyy Vodka is a perfect example of that. Skyy has a not-so-subtle, in your face approach with their print advertising campaign. They are constantly pushing the envelope, and I believe that they know exactly what they are doing due to the fact that they are constantly releasing similar ads with the same message each time.
The print ads behind this world famous vodka are in-your-face, provocative, and exude sexuality. Chances are you have seen one of Skyy Vodka’s print advertisements before, but if you have not, here are a few examples;

In doing some research, I found out that Skyy Spirits is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari. They are a major player in the global beverage industry, holding a portfolio of over 40 premium brands distributed in more than 190 countries worldwide.
Chad Farmer, Executive Creative Director of Skyy’s advertising agency, says of the advertising campaign; “We have always evolved the SKYY campaign but continue to maintain the core equity of sexy cocktail style. Through the years we have moved from a very stylized, glamorous version of reality to a more sleek and modern aesthetic. This change happened organically, yet methodically, to capitalize on current trends while being true to the SKYY brand essence.”
While Chad may think it is a “sexy cocktail style” approach, thousands of women, men, and feminist groups everywhere are in uproar regarding the campaign and how it symbolizes the dehumanization of women. There have been several campaigns to stop the ads from being printed, none of which have been successful.
Through personally evaluating and analyzing the Skyy vodka ad campaign, I found a pattern that proved to be true in many of the ads:
·         In each ad, the woman is portrayed as a mere sexual object, rather than a respectable human being
·         The woman’s body is often fragmented so that you only see a certain body part (most prominent example would be legs)
·         If there is a male in the ad, he plays a dominant role as a sexual aggressor over the female
·         The ads portray a materialistic, high-class, lavish lifestyle (for example—lush settings can always be seen in the background of these advertisements
·         The ads suggest that if you drink Skyy vodka you are desirable, and drinking this vodka will lead to sexual situations
·         Each ad uses bright, provocative colors and brand placement. The bright blue Skyy Vodka bottle is an important fixture in each ad.
At the end of the day, the message I got from this campaign was that sex sells. Skyy vodka has this infamous ad campaign that may be well-known for all of the wrong reasons but at the end of the day, their brand name is out there and they have accomplished world renowned recognition.

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