Bruce Willis Vodka?

There are certain Bruce Willis signatures — the bald head, the self-deprecating humor and the cockiness — and he brings them all to a new campaign for Sobieski vodka. Mr. Willis serves as the brand’s celebrity spokesman, and he owns a small percentage of the Polish vodka maker’s parent company. n a series of “Bruce Has Ideas” commercials, which began appearing online this week, he makes it clear he has a stake in the company. At the same time, he pokes fun at himself, saying, in one ad, “No, I’m not just an action hero with rugged good looks and some singing ambitions.” In wry exchanges with Sobieski’s chief executive, Krzysztof Trylinski, Mr. Willis also concedes, humorously, that he is not an expert in distilled spirits, asking in one commercial: “What the heck does Bruce Willis know about making vodka? Nothing.” The ads are part of a digital and print campaign by Sobieski Vodka of North America, which entered the American market three years ago and used a back-to-basics theme to promote its rye-based vodka, the top seller in Poland. – from NYTimes

Imperial Brands, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Belvedere S.A., today announced a multi-year partnership agreement with actor and producer, Bruce Willis, to promote Sobieski Vodka in North America, extending the relationship globally. As a part of the long-term investment, Bruce Willis has acquired 3.3% of Belvedere S.A. — the owner of Sobieski Vodka.

“It’s remarkable how much Bruce Willis and Sobieski have in common,” said Chester Brandes, President and CEO of Imperial Brands, Inc. “We are a brand with nothing to hide, and the confidence (and humor) to talk in simple, straightforward, black-and-white terms about our product. Much like Sobieski, Bruce is authentic, likeable, and doesn’t get caught up in superficiality.”
Through its creative “Truth in Vodka” campaign, Sobieski urges consumers to focus on what’s in the bottle – not gimmickry marketing or fancy packaging. With the help of Willis, the brand will continue to raise awareness and debunk the myths surrounding overpriced vodkas. The straightforward messaging has clearly resonated with consumers who have embraced this honest, back-to-basics spirit, in record numbers. The partnership includes the usage of Willis’ images in advertising as well as personal appearances in various events.

Launched in the U.S. in 2007, Sobieski is Poland’s #1 premium vodka and one of the world’s best-selling and fastest growing vodka brands. After a record breaking year 2008 Sobieski Vodka has more than doubled its volume in 2009 with more than half a million cases sold. The Imperial Brands management team is determined to sell one million-cases of Sobieski faster than any vodka brand has been able to achieve.

Made from the finest Dankowski rye, Sobieski recently added two new flavors, Cytron and Vanilia to their flagship brand.
Sobieski vodkas are available nationally at a suggested retail price of $10.99 (750ml). For additional information, including cocktail recipes, imagery and more, please visit truthinvodka.com, our Facebook fan page (Facebook.com/SobieskiVodka) and follow us on Twitter (Twitter.com/Sobieski_Vodka).

About Sobieski Vodka
Sobieski Vodka, the #1 premium vodka in Poland and one of the world’s bestselling and fastest growing vodka brands, makes no compromises on quality and exemplifies the height of Polish craftsmanship and authenticity. Building on a noble heritage, Sobieski Vodka is produced exclusively from the revered Dankowski rye at the Starogard Gdanski distillery dating back to 1846.
In summer 2007, Sobieski Vodka launched its “Truth in Vodka” campaign in the U.S., declaring that consumers don’t have to pay a king’s ransom to get superb vodka. Sobieski’s back-to-basics approach to marketing, which focuses on what goes in the bottle–tradition, heritage, authenticity and taste–is in marked contrast to competitors who rely on lavish packaging and gimmicky ad campaigns that have resulted in a deluge of overpriced vodkas.

In fall 2007, the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) honored Sobieski Vodka with the Gold Medal and Best Buy Award. It was also ranked #1 in a blind-tasting of 25 major international vodka brands conducted by La Revue du Vin de France, one of France’s top wine and spirits publications. In 2008, the brand received the coveted Hot Brand Award from IMPACT Magazine. Sobieski Vodka’s suggested retail price is $10.99 for a 750 ml bottle and $19.99 for a 1.75 liter bottle. For more information, please visit www.truthinvodka.com.

About Imperial Brands, Inc.
Imperial Brands, Inc. is an importer and marketer of distinctive wines and spirits. Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., it is a U.S. subsidiary of Belvedere S.A., one of Europe’s largest producers and distributors of white spirits and wines. Belvedere S.A. operates production and distribution units in Poland, France, Bulgaria, Lithuania and the United States and additionally owns subsidiaries in Russia, Canada, Spain, Scandinavia, Turkey and Brazil. Belvedere S.A. purchased Marie Brizard & Roger International in July 2006.

Imperial Brands, Inc. also owns Florida Distillers Co., which has two production facilities located in Florida. This provides bottling capacity of 5 million (9-liter) cases of distilled spirits for the company and a base on which to coordinate its expansion across the U.S. For more information, please visit: www.ibrandsinc.com.




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About Alex Carter

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