A Vodka Ad That Went Too Far

It’s hard to believe that even in the world of liquor marketing, you can still cross a line. But in the case of Wódka, a Polish vodka in the value-brand category (priced at about $10.99 for 750 ml.), that line was apparently crossed. As Adweek reports,

Wódka vodka promises “Christmas quality” at “Hanukkah pricing” with this New York City billboard showing a pair of pooches, one in a yarmulke and the the other in a Santa cap. How festive! The Anti-Defamation League and consumers bashed the board as being anti-Semitic for suggesting Jews are cheap and/or Christmas is a higher-quality holiday. The ad’s creator, who’s Jewish, says the billboard is being removed from the West Side Highway.

The clever formulation did work with previous ads (found at Adweek), such as “Escort Quality. Hooker Pricing.” and “Hamptons Quality. Newark Pricing.” Indeed, the Beverage Testing Institute awarded the value brand 90 points. Wódka, which describes itself as “a quirky, premium vodka with a value vodka price tag,” is now at the forefront of its category—a category very much in demand during these hard economic times.

My other concern about the billboard: What’s with the dogs?

(Hat tip to Steve Ustaris.)

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