Diageo is hoping to create new interest in the RTD sector by overhauling its flagship Smirnoff Ice brand.
The drinks giant is acting on consumer feedback and changing the taste of the Smirnoff Black Ice variant to make it less sweet in a bid to set it apart from other fruit-based RTDs and increase its appeal among male consumers.
The taste profile of the original Smirnoff Ice will not change, although both flavours will benefit from a makeover.
Labels have been changed to resemble the parent vodka brand, which took on a new image last year, and a picture of an eagle has been added to give Smirnoff Ice a brand icon.
A total spend of £15m will be
pumped into the brand this year with £7m of that earmarked for the redesign.
Other plans include trade and consumer sampling, press ads and a new set of television advertisements which are breaking next month.
Paul Flanagan, Diageo’s commercial PR manager, said the level of support would convince buyers that RTDs were still a safe bet.
He said: “It’s about raising confidence and showing that we are serious about the category - we wouldn’t be investing this kind of money if we weren’t.”
Rosie Davenport