This brand of vodka actually wants to help you celebrate Dry January


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CNN

It’s three days in dry January for those watching, but that doesn’t mean you can’t touch the vodka.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka has enlisted Martha Stewart for a cheeky campaign to help people who have temporarily given up alcohol with some ideas for what to do with their vodka — besides drinking it.

In a 60-second commercial, Stewart uses her do-it-yourself skills to get creative with vodka, like adding a squirt (or two) to a marinara sauce or deodorizing smelly boots. Other tongue-in-cheek ideas include Stewart encouraging people to use Tito’s bottle to tenderize meat and water their flowers with the vodka. “Smells like February,” she jokes in the ad.

To complement the campaign, Tito’s has launched an online store selling bottle tops to help people follow Stewart’s suggestions. For $10, buyers get a box with three attachments, including a spray nozzle for deodorizing and a spout for pasta or other sauces that need a hit. Net proceeds from the box go to charity.

Martha Stewart stars in a new campaign for Tito's Handmade Vodka.

“We want consumers to drink Tito’s the way they want. Whether that means drinking less, taking a month off, or trying new recipes, we support our fan base’s consumption choices,” Taylor Berry, vice president of brand marketing at Tito’s, told CNN exclusively about the campaign.

“The idea that you can still use Tito’s when you give up alcohol is what made creating this campaign so enjoyable,” said Berry. “For those who are in dry January, well Tito’s will still have you covered in February.”

Tito’s is no stranger to creating hilarious ad campaigns to help the privately held company break into the $7 billion industry. In August, Tito’s sold empty cans encouraging customers to make canned cocktails at will. The idea was to troll the growing trend and tell customers that it only focuses on its core product.

Dry January is growing in popularity every year. Last year, a Nielsen food and beverage research firm said 35% of US legal adults abstained from alcohol throughout the month – a trend that’s growing in popularity as drinkers try to reboot their bodies in the new year. That’s a rise from the previous high of 21% that closed out Dry January 2019.

Alcohol-free sales are also growing: NielsenIQ recently reported that retail sales of alcohol-free spirits increased nearly 90% between August 2021 and August 2022, accounting for more than $5 million in sales. Still, that’s a very small part of the $88 billion industry.

Berry said there is “undoubtedly consumer interest” in soft drinks because people are changing their drinking habits, although they aren’t necessarily giving up drinking forever.

“Just as many choose to have a glass of water between cocktails, some soft drinks offer an alternative for drinkers when they want to enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage in volume,” he said. “Ultimately, soft drinks are mostly formulated to taste like well-known adult beverages, which offers many consumers an occasional substitute, not necessarily a direct substitute.”

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