How to be an Original in 140 Characters or Less:

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone Debuts as the Third Stoli Original in the Brand's Provocative Would You Have a Drink With You? Ad Campaign

Oct 19, 2010, 08:54 ET from Stolichnaya

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Originals are driven by dreams, fueled by inspiration and immune to the meaning of the word 'impossible.'  It is with this in mind that Stolichnaya Vodka, the visionary brand responsible for many "firsts" that have shaped the industry -- the first imported Russian vodka to the US, first vodka brand to launch a line of flavored vodkas, the first to introduce luxury vodka, announces Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone as the brand's third Stoli Original to be featured in their Would You Have a Drink With You? campaign, launching in October 2010. As someone who has helped to change the communications landscape with just 140 characters, Biz Stone is effectively pioneering the future in the present.  An ideal fit for the Would You Have a Drink with You? campaign, Stoli toasts its newest Stoli Original @Biz.

"We selected Biz Stone as our third Stoli Original because he is an entrepreneur who has revolutionized the way we communicate, learn and share information with one another today," said Andrey Skurikhin, partner at SPI Group, brand owner.  "With Stoli's partnership with Biz, we are continuing our conversation with consumers, showing them another kind of Original and challenging them to ask themselves how they measure up."  

"The folks at Stoli approached me with a very fun script and opportunity that summed up the discussion people have been having about Twitter for years. We thought it was great messaging," said Biz Stone Co-founder of Twitter.  "In the commercials, one version of me is criticizing Twitter as a useless waste of time and the other is explaining that he just doesn't see the big picture – we saw it as a way to do some myth-busting about Twitter."

The Would You Have a Drink With You? campaign challenges the consumer to ponder how they measure up – Are you daring enough? Are you an original? Are you experiencing and living your life in an authentic, interesting way? Are you someone you'd want to share a Stoli with?  In other words (or these exact ones), Would You Have a Drink With You? The campaign's witty and humorous print ads and commercials show Stone, Twitter Pioneer, seated at a table having a drink with himself, Nerd of the Year, via split screen discussing the phenomenon of Twitter.

Capitalizing on the desire for open exchange among consumers, Stone and his Twitter partners have forged a new path for the dissemination of news, ideas and information through social media.  Named one of Time magazine's 100 of the Most Influential People in 2009, Stone also helped to create the following blogs; Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious.  Never one to rest on his laurels, he has also published two books including Who Let the Blogs Out?: A Hyperconnected Peek at the World of Weblogs, about the social significance of the changing communications landscape, and is also active in charitable causes.  The soon-to-launch Biz and Livia Stone Foundation will be a private, hands-on organization with a charitable mission to support the arts, education, health and environmental issues.

To celebrate Stoli's newest Original, the brand will be hosting a fun, engaging virtual cocktail party, interacting with people on Twitter as well as on Stoli's Facebook page.  @Stoli will be inviting fans to the party using a hashtag (#stolicocktailparty) and asks followers to post Original tweets, such as their most Original toasts and Original Stoli cocktail recipes.  Stoli will also be hosting assets from the ad campaign on its Twitter page for users to check out.

"With the debut of Biz Stone as the third Stoli Original in the Would You Have A Drink With You? campaign, Stoli re-affirms its position as a pioneer and an innovator within the industry," said Elizabeth Costa, Senior Brand Manager – Stolichnaya Vodka, William Grant & Sons USA.  "Throughout the upcoming months, Stoli will continue to develop innovative social media applications that will allow consumers to engage with brand across multiple platforms."  

To drive additional consumer engagement, Stoli recently debuted an online casting call through Facebook.com (www.Facebook.com/Stoli) to select the next Stoli Original to appear in the brand's digital ad campaign and receive a fee of $25,000.00.  On November 1, 2010, thirty finalists, selected from all online entries by Stoli, will be asked to submit a two-minute online audition video in which they illustrate their originality and demonstrate their pioneering spirit. The brand will select the next Stoli Original from the group of finalists on December 14, 2010 with digital ads breaking in 2011.

The "Lead On" spirit of originality, which defines the brand and connects all facets of the campaign, is also seen in Stoli's new flavor introductions to the market.  This month, Stoli launches its 12th flavor with Stoli Wild Cherri, Created from the natural flavor of the wild cherry varietal.  Print ads and online banners for Stoli's flavored vodka portfolio, the ads also launched in May, urges consumers to "Live a life of flavor. Stoli. Lead On."  For additional information on Stolichnaya Vodka, visit www.stoli.com, www.twitter.com/Stoli and www.facebook.com/stoli.

**Campaign images and TV ads are available upon request.

About Stolichnaya

Stolichnaya is a premium vodka, known for its award winning flavor, impeccable clarity and sleek, sensual undertones. Long considered a trailblazer in the vodka industry, Stolichnaya is a brand constantly on the verge. Stolichnaya was the first imported Russian vodka, the first to launch flavored line extensions and one of the first to debut a super-premium offering.  The Stolichnaya portfolio includes Stolichnaya Red, Stolichnaya Blue, the super-premium Stolichnaya Gold and the ultra-premium elit by Stolichnaya. Stolichnaya's naturally flavored vodka portfolio currently includes Wild Cherri, White Pomegranik, Ohranj, Blueberi, Razberi, Vanil, Citros, Cranberi, Peachik, Strasberi, Blakberi and Gala Applik. For more information visit www.stoli.com.

About William Grant & Sons

William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world's most awarded single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world's fourth largest blended Scotch Grant's® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick's® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Rum, and the award-winning Milagro® Tequila.

Among the most recent accolades for the well-awarded company, William Grant & Sons was honored as the "Distiller of the Year" for the fourth time in five years by the prestigious International Spirits Challenge.

Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the USA with brands including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick's Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Milagro Tequila, Stolichnaya Vodka, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, Grant's, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Galliano, Lillet, Licor 43, The Knot and BOLS cordials. The company has offices in New York City (sales and marketing) and Edison, NJ (bottling and warehouse facilities). For more information on the company and its brands, please visit www.grantusa.com.

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