Prosperity for a premium Asian vodka
Beer, wine & spirits
Brand strategy & positioningPackaging designIdentity & design
Diageo Marketing Brilliance Awards 2010
Best Innovation Agency
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Diageo's ambition was to introduce the world's first premium
Asian vodka. Targeted to discerning, cosmopolitan, and adventurous
consumers, Shanghai White was an innovation in vodka. The brand was
unique because it celebrated Western style and progress while
maintaining Chinese authenticity and heritage. Shanghai White could
own this position because at the heart of this spirit was over 600
years of Chinese distilling traditions and modern techniques. The
plan was to introduce Shanghai White to the Asian market first,
then establish it as a global luxury brand in trendsetter cities
across the globe.
In Asia, brown spirits dominate, so introducing a vodka
presented a challenge. To communicate Shanghai White's distinct
qualities and appeal to consumers eager to embrace elements of
different cultures, our strategy was to create a comprehensive
brand story emphasizing the East-West confluence. We started with a
unique and strategic brand narrative set in 1930s Shanghai. This
era proved a richly evocative setting to express the brand's values
and aspirations-to create a vodka that transported our consumers to
a world of exotic glamour. We called this theme "Shanghai noir,"
and applied it to a comprehensive brand look and feel.
Our theme inspired an identity, stunning brand book, brand
ambassador's kit, and custom-named signature cocktails. We created
an art deco duty-free display and 1930s qipao costumes to be worn
for cocktail tastings, and also produced a cinematic brand movie.
The brand voice was used consistently across all touchpoints,
including advertising and POS materials. The brand launch in Hong
Kong focused on our theme and brought the brand story to life. In
less than six months after it launched in May 2009, Shanghai White
captured a significant share of Hong Kong's premium vodka
market-far surpassing Diageo's expectations. In 2010 we were
awarded Best Innovation Agency in Diageo's Marketing Brilliance
Awards for our Shanghai White work.