Landor NY pours over Smirnoff look

Global drinks giant Diageo is to relaunch Smirnoff Vodka in the autumn with a revamped look created by Landor New York, Design Week can exclusively reveal.

According to a source close to the project, the new-look product will launch first in the US, followed by a global rollout in time for the key Christmas period.

The consultancy is believed to be responsible for a complete overhaul of the packaging, including graphics and bottle design.

A Diageo spokeswoman says the company is ‘not ready to comment’ on the project, but says it is working on ‘plans on how to move [the brand] forward’.

Diageo has identified Smirnoff as one of its key global brands and it is believed the company intends to enhance the brand’s credibility with the crucial 24to 35-year-old market.

The product is the largest premium vodka brand in the world, but sources suggest its ubiquity is an obstacle to further growth, with younger drinkers failing to identify with the brand.

Smirnoff saw growth of 21 per cent in 2002, and the US, UK, South Africa and Canada are identified as its key markets.

It is believed the group’s work will roll out across all of these territories.

In February, Diageo, which also counts Gordon’s Gin, Johnnie Walker scotch and Guinness among its drinks portfolio, announced operating profit up by 6 per cent on a like for like basis.

The Smirnoff brand was last revamped by Sedley Place in 1998 (DW 11 December 1998).

No one at Landor was available for comment as Design Week went to press.

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