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Rick Michel's Blog

Sinatra and … Vodka?

When it came to alcohol, Frank Sinatra was really a one-trick pony - it was Jack Daniel’s whiskey all the way.  So, what do you do when you’re selling vodka, but want to class it up a bit?  Bring Ol’ Blue Eyes into the picture.  That’s what happened in 2011, with Sean “Diddy” Combs in charge of marketing and promotion, they took one of Sinatra’s signature songs, Luck Be a Lady, and made a commercial.

Cîroc’s version of the song wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill commercial, it was a big production - four minutes long with closing credits and a slew of recognizable faces gathering for a Rat Packesque party.  Everyone’s dressed with style and dripping with confidence and cool - just like Frank, Dean, and Sammy did it.  And Frank’s voice is the star of the show.

It was a brilliant move; if your target audience isn’t likely to realize The Voice favored whiskey, why not try and utilize his bravado to sell them vodka?  Many don’t likely know much about Sinatra at all, yet they recognize the swagger in his voice and the atmosphere the Rat Pack brought with them.  Everybody wishes they could do the same, let’s face it.

Another thing interesting about the video is that every celebrity is announced with their subtitled name, yet the Chairman of the Board, the voice setting the mood, doesn’t even need his name in the closing credits.  This year it will be 102 years since his birth and he still doesn’t need any introduction.  That’s the very definition of a legend.

Combs is a smart marketer; he said, “Frank Sinatra made some of the most iconic records of our time; it is truly an honor to use his music again for this campaign. The Rat Pack defined the art of celebrating in style. I cannot imagine a Spirit more suitable for commemorating life with family and friends than Cîroc; a brand that has become synonymous with celebratory occasions.”

So, what’s your choice?  Vodka or whiskey?  I think I’ll stick with Jack.