Case Study

How we helped reinvent an oversexualized Vodka brand as fashion-forward and design-inspired.

EFFEN VODKA starts with 100% premium wheat from Northern France and pure water derived through reverse osmosis, then goes through intense carbon filtration and continuous distillation, resulting in the smoothest and purest Vodka on the market.

The Challenge

Not being taken seriously

From its inception, EFFEN utilized cheeky and punny humor to position itself as bold and brash, but in an effort to be taken more seriously as a luxury brand, they realized they needed to pivot brand messaging and deliver an elevated customer experience.

The Strategy

Leaning into authenticity

Luxury culture was evolving and authenticity had become a hallmark of brands able to connect with consumers who had a more sophisticated palate. EFFEN wanted in on this consumer group, and because they had always been a bold brand, it was a natural progression to ditch provocation and instead lean into a more straightforward brand ethos.

The Results

Becoming part of the culture

Marketing took on a new vibe and gave way to an event series that immersed influencers in captivating experiences, peaked their curiosity and aroused their senses. We successfully repositioned the brand, and EFFEN was suddenly THE drink of choice, culminating in an investment by 50 Cent, which solidified EFFEN as a cultural giant.

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Post-recession, celebrating excess and self-aggrandizement had become passé.

The principles of hard-work and accomplishment had returned to prominence.

So our first order of business was to help EFFEN evolve from a brand rooted in cheeky provocation into a brand that the elites of the day could take seriously.

Deriving inspiration from brands that connected with consumers by embracing authenticity and storytelling, we helped EFFEN reimagine its marketing, foremost by aligning itself with passions and people that would resonate with the target audience. Individuality, self-expression, experimentation and design culture were at the core of the new EFFEN.  

The brand evolved from its tongue-in-cheek persona and embraced a more authentic vibe, rooted in compelling storytelling and the people shaping contemporary culture.

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EFFEN Vodka - Inspired By Design
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Inspired by Fashion Design - Orly Shani

To capitalize on EFFEN’s new identity, we helped create and promote an annual mixology event series called Art of Design, hosted in major cities across the globe and featuring top mixologists creating unique concoctions, facilitated and inspired by EFFEN. We invited local tastemakers to attend and host each event and promoted them heavily across social media, encouraging consumers far and wide to find inspiration through EFFEN Vodka. The results were phenomenal.

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For several years, EFFEN Vodka’s business continued to grow through the adoption of the refreshed brand identity we helped establish, becoming more mainstream and culminating in a significant investment by rapper 50 Cent, which cemented EFFEN as a major player in pop culture. The Art of Design event series was critically important to the brand’s evolution and success.

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