JWT pushes Smirnoff's Russian heritage in ad

J. Walter Thompson has created a £3 million campaign for Smirnoff Red that focuses on the drink's Russian heritage while introducing the endline: "Not the usual."

The first ad in the series, entitled "baker", opens on a young Russian woman in a red coat and headscarf buying a loaf of bread from a baker before going to work.

Once inside the building, she lets herself into an office, breaking open the bread to reveal a key, which she uses to unlock a safe containing a microfilm. A security guard storms in and she jumps out of the window, leaving behind on the ground a shell of her former self.

The chase continues and the woman manages to escape from her pursuers several times by mimicking a traditional matryoshka doll and reducing in size.

After she has shrunk so much that she can disappear down a drain, the camera cuts to the baker on a plane. He opens up a matryoshka doll he has bought to reveal the hidden microfilm. The endline reads: "Not the usual."

The ad was written by Jason Berry and art directed by Emma Reddish. It was directed by Ivan Zacharias through Stink Productions.

Media planning and buying is through Carat.

The commercial will run on terrestrial and satellite television and in cinemas from Thursday 8 April. There will be a heavyweight presence for the first four days, with a 60-second version of the spot scheduled to run around primetime programmes.

After 12 April, the ad will be replaced with a 40-second adaptation.

JWT's last major campaign for Smirnoff in the UK was the "If Smirnoff made ..." positioning that began three years ago.

Harry MacAuslan, a managing partner at JWT, said: "This film dramatises the way in which Smirnoff sees the world differently. It embodies Smirnoff's values of sophistication, cleverness and unexpectedness and is tense drama loaded with atmosphere."

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