Sick on a Sunday

Smirnoff’s Market Research Fail

Posted in Random Rants by jamiemarie on May 26, 2010

I ran into this article from The Awl, quoting a Smirnoff Spokesperson, regarding the Bros Icing Bros phenomenon.  A Bro will hand his Bro a bottle of sweet, sweet Smirnoff Ice and the recipient will hace to get down on one knee and chug it.  That Bro has just been “iced”.  Apparently it’s the new “double dog dare” in substance chugging.  [Although “ice” as a verb just makes me think of Mr. Freeze, pictured]

Says the Spokesperson:

People might be surprised to know that [our consumers are] about 50-50 male-female. Most of our consumers are between 21-39. It’s a national brand and a national product.

O RLY, Spokesperson?  FYI, your “consumers” are not the same as your “purchasers”.  Since you obviously don’t (publicly) collect data on underage drinking, your data is skewed.  Sure, maybe the 6 people over the age of 21 who drink Smirnoff Ice happen to be “about 50-50 male-female”.  Do not make the mistake of assuming this truly represents who drinks your beverage.

The reasons Bros Icing Bros is a phenomenon in the first place is because a quintessential Bro thrives on humiliating his Bros.  You know why being forced to drink a Smirnoff Ice is humiliating?  Because it’s what a Bro buys a 16-year-old girl hoping to get in her pants, not what a Bro wants to chug out of a beer bong to prove his Bro-ness to his Bros, bro.

Sure, my only market research on this is anecdotal,  but a certain amount of market research has to be.  This isn’t just my first-hand experience talking, but the crowdsourced knowledge from all my friends as well.  And apparently “crowdsourcing” is a legitimate way to gather information these days.  (And we’re supposed to think twice before citing Wikipedia? O RLY?!)

However, if Smirnoff really wants to insist that their brand is consumed by people of age and by both genders, they should do some market research into things like their college grades and major, how many times they’ve seen Empire Strikes Back, number of cats owned, amount of chess championships won, etc.   Again, this is anecdotal, but pretty much anyone who went to college should back me up on this: nerds drink Smirnoff Ice.  Like 16-year-old girls, nerds are often experimenting with alcohol for the first time and thus more likely to go for the sweet stuff before growing up and moving on to beer (or 40s if malt liquor is really their thing).

In conclusion, Spokesperson, you should probably do one of two things here:

  1. Since you spoke to the Awl anonymously, just fucking admit that teenage girls lurrrrve Smirnoff Ice.  It may be sleazy, but so is dishonesty.
  2. Readjust your marketing strategy to target Trekkies, comparative literature majors*, BYU drop-outs, optometry clinics, and so on.

*I was a comp lit minor in college.  Trust me, those people are your market.

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