New-look Smirnoff vodka unveiled by KBL as festive seasons starts

by Correspondent

Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has unveiled a revitalised identity for its iconic and contemporary brand Smirnoff Vodka as part of its new strategic direction and response to consumer trends and demands.

The new pack draws an inspiration from previous bottles in a contemporary way, with bold visuals and the return of the iconic Smirnoff shield – featuring prominently across all new packaging and adds to completely aesthetic touch to the brand appeal.

Speaking during the colourful and experiential launch event, KBL’s Brand Manager, Christine Kariuki said: “the new design will be available in the entire portfolio of Smirnoff Vodka and it will bring a refreshed energy to vodka category.”

Ms. Kariuki disclosed that KBL had tested the acceptability of the new design by consumers and it outperformed the previous bottle on measures such as shelf stand-out, quality perception and preference vs competitors. She further added that the new look was part of the brand’s response to enhancing the brand’s relevance amongst young adult consumers who want a contemporary brand.

” We expect this re-launch to set stage for not only creating a new bold identity and repositioning among our consumers but also to revitalize a powerful connection that will unlock its long-term growth in the market,” said Ms. Kariuki.

The unveil comes at a time, when a recent study titled Diageo Drinks Report for 2019 revealed that there is a growing trend for consumers seeking intriguing brand stories and history. That’s why the Smirnoff’s Recipe No.21 has brought to the forefront the ‘continuing traditions since 1864’ label.

In addition, the firm also announced the return of Smirnoff Battle of the Beats, the DJ’s competition. The second season of Smirnoff Battle of the Beat powered will crown at least five winners in 5 regions across the country.   

The six weeks competition will see up and coming DJ prospects from across the country meet and battle it out to find the next big Kenyan entertainer.

Commenting on the launch of the second season of the DJ competition, Ms.  Kariuki said the exciting new prospect was in line with the company’s commitment to continually engage with their consumers at their specific touch points as they continue to provide consumer led options for the evolving consumers.

She revealed that the first season of the competition returned Smirnoff Vodka into a growth curve.

“We doubled our growth and today, Smirnoff Vodka has become synonymous with house parties, high energy nights, and a drink of choice for many Kenyans, hence making it the number 1 selling vodka in the country. It is against this backdrop that we are launching the second season of Smirnoff Battle of the Beats,” said Ms. Kariuki.

The competition feeds into the larger Smirnoff Experience, an ongoing campaign where the brand is educating consumers on their perfect cocktails.  

The brand Smirnoff is founded on key pillars of Music, Art, Dance and Fashion, all cornerstones of a vibrant and creatively driven society. Today, Battle of the beats is a culmination of the research led insights that show more and more that Kenyans are increasingly investing in creative arts as lifestyle. Knowing this, Kenya breweries has provided a platform where our consumer can express themselves in this unique art form to enjoy and entertain Kenyans. We want to continue to connect with our consumers at their touchpoints and this competition is another supporting element for this”.

The millennial consumers are still currently the dominant consumer category globally. This continues to influence KBL’s business direction to continue to make product offerings that are accessible and relevant to this market category. The DJ competition by extension is a new value proposition that the company feels will both resonate with the target audience and also push the envelope to capitalise on a booming entertainment industry in the country.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, as of 2017 the Kenyan entertainment and media industry was worth Shs 219Billion and is anticipated will rise to upto Shs 330billion by 2021. This highlights the huge investment currently seen and rationale corporates use to continue to invest in the industry for cross cutting economic benefits for the country.

  1. The Audition mechanics is a process that will take 2 weeks.
  2. Week 1 will be set aside for contestants to send in their videos.
  3. Week 2 will be set aside for the sifting process by the judges as we gear to crown the best don at the Smirnoff night.

The process will entail the following:

  • The call to action which is, Contestants to share a one-minute video clip of them showcasing their process when it comes to Deejaying by posting on both Instagram and Facebook using a hash tag (#BattleOfTheBeats)
  • The second step will include the very able judges (Dj Hypnotiq and Dj Mellow ) sifting  through the submissions  guided by a  judging criteria while supported by the Principal judge (Dj Stylez)
  • From this they should be able to release a list of those who qualify in different intervals such as (top 100, top 50 and finally top 20).
  • Finally, the top 20 will be invited to audition a second time In-front of the judges who will then narrow the list to the top 5
  • The top 5 will then play at the Smirnoff Nights in the different outlets where both the judges and consumers will crown the Don of that region.
  • This process will be conducted in the different towns Smirnoff sets foot in i.e. Nakuru, Kisii, Mombasa, Thika, Nairobi.
  • The winners will then walk away with (DJ Decks, a MacBook pro laptop, a flight case and a 2TB hard-disc

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