VAN GOGH VODKA ACCOUNT GOES TO BLACK LAB AGENCY

$2 Million Ad Campaign to Promote Flavored Martinis

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- In an effort to better promote its vodka flavors as a point of differentiation, Luctor International has awarded its $2 million Vincent Van Gogh Vodka advertising account to Black Lab of Santa Monica, Calif., a company spokeswoman said.

Super-premium vodkas
The Reno, Nev., spirits marketer currently has a very small share of the crowded super-premium vodka market dominated by Grey Goose and Belvedere. But the young label's goal is to focus on the flavored-vodka market, which is the category's fastest-growing segment. Van Gogh comes in almost a dozen flavors: orange, citrus, vanilla, Dutch chocolate, raspberry, wild apple, pineapple and melon. Two new flavors, coconut and four berry, will launch this spring.

David van de Velde, Luctor's president, said Van Gogh makes “better martinis" and intends to use that selling point in a campaign that will include public relations, promotions and print advertising. To bolster its positioning as the brand for better martinis, the company offers a CD containing 2,500 vodka recipes, he said.

Year-old agency
Black Lab, which moves to new offices in nearby Venice, Calif., next week, is an independent agency formed a year ago by two executives who've worked at larger agencies: Holland Henton, formerly an executive creative director at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding, Irvine, Calif., and Paige Gillingwater, formerly an account executive at Interpublic sibling Deutsch Los Angeles.

Other finalists in the review were independent shops Gardner Geary Coll, San Francisco; Ignited Minds, Marina del Rey; and WongDoody, Los Angeles. The vodka marketer has not worked with an agency for a couple of years, the spokeswoman said.

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Kate MacArthur contributed to this report.

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