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Smirnoff turns selfies into cocktails for a winter competition

Smirnoff and Young & Shand made the most of Kiwis’ love of selfies and snow in a new ‘Pure Potential’ campaign, which saw photos recreated in a cocktail during a Facebook Livestream.

For the chance to win a winter Mardi Gras experience in Ohakune, Kiwis were encouraged to uploaded a selfie to the competition and of the 600 entries, six finalists were selected and their photos used to inspire a cocktail made by a mixologist during two livestreamed videos.

Smirnoff brand manager Hannah Webb said in the release, Smirnoff knew its millennial target market loved cocktails (almost as much as they love to take selfies), “so the combination of the two delivered through a livestream was an exciting idea”.

Adding to the excitement was the host and mixologist not seeing the selfies until the livestream started. Using the photo’s atmosphere and colours as inspiration, the creations included: ‘The Green Lantern’, ‘The Mule Kick’, ‘The Dark Night’, ‘The Winter Bear’, ‘Bring on Winter’, ‘The Rock Pool’.

The winning ‘Bring on Winter’ cocktail was inspired by a selfie in the snow made of Smirnoff, toasted oats, fresh juiced apples, cinnamon, lemon peel and sugar.

Young & Shand creative director Tim Wood said there were no scripts, no second takes, just one chance to make six cocktails with no idea what was actually going to happen.

The task brought with it some challenges and Wood said while the hard part for most campaigns was coming up with the idea, that was only the beginning for ‘Smirnoff Selfie’.

Because it was a livestream execution, the first instinct would be to shoot it on a mobile, however, Young & Shand didn’t want to deliver a poor video experience to the punters. To overcome that, its dev team hacked into Facebooks API and managed to plug a full editing desk into the back of a livestream. That gave the team multiple cameras, high quality audio and onscreen supers.

Webb said it was a nerve wracking experience knowing that literally anything could happen on-screen with the cameras rolling, but she credited the host and mixologist for an “amazing job of thinking on their feet” and producing some stunning cocktails as a result.

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