The recently concluded four-city promotion by Kyndal India, distributors for Sweden's Absolut vodka in India, is a case in point. Absolut Elegance saw young women from Delhi, Ludhiana, Kolkata and Pune walking the ramp, hoping to bag a modelling contract with Absolut.
Similarly, the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour went to the top metros in the country and Seagram India tasted fashion as they roped in fashion designers including the likes of Aki Narula, Ashish Soni, Malini Ramani, Manish Malhotra, Ranna Gill, Rocky S and Tarun Tahiliani for its brand events. Vodka brand Smirnoff and beer brand Kingfisher have flaunted their association with fashion for years.
But where do style and spirits meet? Sunil Alagh, chairman SKA Advisors said, "Liquor companies find it perfect to be associated with fashion as their target consumers follow the same lifestyle. "
As liquor advertising is banned in the country, this works as a surrogate promotion."
However, Siddharth Banerji, director, Kyndal India, insisted that the promotions were not a form of surrogate advertising. "We don't believe in surrogate advertising. We want to create a connection between the country's youth and our brand. Fashion is the best way to connect with the youth," he said.
Seagram India's Assistant Vice President Bikram Basu agreed. He said, "The Indian consumer landscape is evolving very fast. Fashion and lifestyle changes are a key expression of one's self."
According to Banerji, fashion has taken on in a big way in India and a brand like Absolut, which promises to be "an iconic and contemporary brand known to trigger creative connections" is a perfect match with fashion.
And the effort to achieve a brand recall is evident as contestants at the Absolut event walked onto stage holding a bottle of the vodka.