Vogueing: how Smirnoff is celebrating the LGBT subculture

Smirnoff Europe is putting its money where its mouth is and celebrating the "vogueing" subculture as an extension of its £4.5m 'We're Open' brand campaign.

Smirnoff: embraces alternative cultures for 'We're Open' campaign
Smirnoff: embraces alternative cultures for 'We're Open' campaign

Vogueing is the flamboyant dance which emerged from Harlem in the 1980s as part catwalk routine, part elaborate mime.

Born from the LGBT community, it came to mainstream attention with Madonna’s Vogue music video in 1990. The subculture has begun to attract attention again, with the involvement of celebrities like FKA Twigs and Rihanna.

The drinks brand has become involved with the scene, throwing a one-off voguing party in Stockholm in April and inviting some of the more influential dancers to take part for what it describes as a "modest fee".

Smirnoff has also come up with three new cocktails in honour of vogueing.

The idea is to expose vogueing to a wider audience and celebrate the scene’s LGBT roots and culture of acceptance. The activity fits into Smirnoff’s wider ‘We’re Open’ campaign, which focuses on alternative communities and viewpoints.

Not everyone is taking the #voguejam campaign well, with one commenter describing the brand’s involvement as cultural appropriation.

Julie Bramham, marketing director at Smirnoff, told Marketing: "The celebration of subcultures is appropriate – this is only about celebration and inclusivity."

Brand: Smirnoff (Diageo)

Agency: 72andSunny