Affinnova Opens Vodka Brand War

A new study from the marketing and branding folks at Affinnova proclaims that a vodka brand’s success is hugely tied to its bottle design. Newer and edgier vodka brands, like Belvedere and Pinnacle, are edging out the old guards, like Absolut, for shelf space because of new bottle designs with bolder color choices. And advertising doesn’t help, the study concludes, because it’s too difficult to reach all the demographics in a fractured media landscape.


The study, which analyzed 500 vodka brands and talked to many vodka-loving customers, found that taste satisfaction could be influenced by bottle design. Worse yet for traditional marketers, poor bottle design can even bring down a positive perception of a brand created by hard-won advertising dollars. Survey respondents generally found Absolut to be a pretty sexy brand until they look at the bottle. This all seems reminiscent to mounting reports that even high-paid wine taste-testers can’t consistently tell the difference between good wine and bad wine in blind taste tests.

Cut the advertising budget and put swill in the fancy bottles? It could happen. It’s just another reminder that we might be creatures of all style and little substance.

Here’s a video reminder why you shouldn’t fight after drinking too much. I will bet you $500 that vodka was involved in this Russian confrontation. I wonder if it came in a fancy bottle.


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