Brigade Helps SVEDKA Introduce Spiked Seltzer
By: Casha Doemland
The craze of alcoholic seltzers started back in 2016 when Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased SpikedSeltzer from Nick Shields and launched a national summer campaign that caused sales to skyrocket. Soon copycats followed suit with the likes of White Claw, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Henry's Hard Sparkling Water. It's even served as a popular drink of choice with health-conscious consumers as it lacks gluten, calories and carbs.
Earlier this year Swedish vodka company, SVEDKA joined the party with Spiked Premium Seltzers, their first ready-to-drink beverage. "SVEDKA Spiked Premium Seltzers stand out by being cocktail-inspired," states David Bosch, Manager of Operations & Communications at BRIGADE. "They're nuanced and refreshingly light, with delicious botanical flavor profiles that are unlike anything else in the category."
SVEDKA believes they have a superior product in the spiked seltzer category, and to help brand the product as such, they returned to BRIGADE, their trusted design partners of 13 years, to produce an authentic and elevated design.
The first step was to conduct research and educate themselves on the spiked seltzer market, followed by performing a brand analysis on what SVEDKA means to its consumers.
"What we discovered," says Robert Parker, Creative Strategy Director at BRIGADE, "was that SVEDKA was entering the category at a pivotal moment in its growth. For years, spiked seltzer brands had used their packaging to educate consumers about basic category questions: What is a spiked seltzer? What does it taste like? From iconography to the color palette, brands had to communicate that spiked seltzers were refreshing, light and fizzy. Because those fundamentals are now in place, it meant that we were focused on differentiation and quality. "
BRIGADE was given the opportunity to concentrate on a design that truly represented SVEDKA's brand as a whole.
"Our goal was to take what helps SVEDKA stand out in the vodka aisle (the iconic horizontal band and plain but bold colors), and bring that into the RTD cooler," said Dave Grasso, Senior Creative on the project. "The problem with that bold horizontal band was that it didn't translate well to the skinny can. It got small and fussy like the rest of the category. So we subtly cut into the edge of the 'S' in SVEDKA to make it feel as though the brand was even larger than the aluminum can contain."
Not only that, but they turned the iconic band 90-degrees to pay homage to the original design.
Currently available in three flavors, Cucumber Basil, Tangerine Hibiscus and Strawberry Elderflower, the bands on the can match a color of the key ingredients – green for basic, orange for tangerine and red for strawberry. To the right of the brand is the text, with the all the necessary information, while the left remains open to execute a clean design.
“Disrupting the competitive set of RTD products was a major goal for the packaging,” says Bosch. “We wanted the design to be colorful, simple and impactful rather than fussy, cluttered and literal. It was at times challenging not to fall into the trap of filling every nook and cranny with communication – but ultimately negative space and restraint were important to us.”
All in all, the team at BRIGADE met their goal as a lot of effort was put forth into the composition, color and material contrast to tell a bold and straightforward story.
“SVEDKA was the opposite of a large company when we started working with them,” said Kirsten Modestow, Executive Creative Director and Owner of BRIGADE. “We’ve been working together on their vodka brand for 13 years now. At the time, SVEDKA was a tiny unknown startup with limited distribution – now they’re the #1 imported vodka in the U.S. We take a lot of pride in SVEDKA’s success and are incredibly lucky to be able to work with such a great client.”
Now, that the Premium Spiked Seltzers are available on the market, this feeling is only amplified when they see the product in someone’s cooler at the beach because it proves that they’ve been part of something great.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.