Smirnoff and Pharrell Williams reveal why 'the best mixes start pure' in latest Australian campaign via agency Leo Burnett, Sydney

Screen shot 2011-08-22 at 11.46.08 AM.jpgThe Smirnoff Co. has secured an exclusive collaboration with US music and culture icon Pharrell Willliams, who features in a brand new TV and online advertising campaign via Leo Burnett Sydney, created especially for the Australian market.

The commercial, which was shot in L.A., will air nationally on TV and online channels, but Smirnoff will also be offering consumers more information on the making of the campaign if they visit the Smirnoff Australia Facebook page to see exclusive "Behind The Scenes" footage from the shoot including interviews with the Smirnoff marketing manager, Pharrell and other musicians involved in the TVC.

Screen shot 2011-08-22 at 11.34.46 AM.jpgPharrell, a master collaborator himself, leads the campaign from start to finish, and takes the consumer on a journey of how his mixes are created. He explains how the best music can be made only when the artist starts with a blank canvas. Featuring his track 'Truth or Dare' by adding layer upon layer of the best quality elements, one at a time - the beat, the groove, the vocals - the result, a perfectly mixed, full impact sound that you can't help dancing to.

The inspiration of the campaign stems from the way a bartender mixes a drink - starting with pure Smirnoff vodka, each ingredient is added to complement the mix. A great tasting mixed drink is born, and is of course, served with the signature style that Smirnoff is world-famous for.

Says Nicole Stanners, marketing manager for Smirnoff: "As the world's number No 1 vodka, Smirnoff is renowned for delivering the best tasting mixed drinks because of its purity. The concept for the campaign is simple - How you start is everything. The best mixed drinks start pure.

"We wanted to show consumers how Smirnoff, the purest vodka, makes great tasting mixed drinks, in the same way Pharrell mixes a great music track. By using the metaphor of Pharrell's mind as a blank canvas, we were able to convey this message in a simple, yet imaginative way."

An added feature of the campaign will be that smart phone users will be able to Shazam the commercial to access additional footage and further information on the campaign from an exclusive micro website. This is claimed to be a first for a TV commercial in Australia.

Screen shot 2011-08-22 at 11.45.44 AM.jpg Says Pharrell: "What really works the best is when opposites attract. This is how I work when I collaborate with talented musicians, I take the true substance of their sound and mix it with what I think complements it best. I like how Smirnoff present a pure vodka, perfect for mixing - this is what I try to do with my music, so I agreed to be a part of this campaign."

Pharrell was joined by an ensemble of talented musicians from around the globe who helped create the cresecendo of sound that develops during the commercial. Each individual has an important role to play, as well as an interesting story to tell, having worked with world-renowned artists such as Little Richard and Justin Timberlake, and during filming offered their insight on working their way to the top in the music industry.


Great use of bad strat said:

The whole mix/mix thing has been done. But still there's a lot to like about this. It's just a shame that Pharrell looks like a twelve year old in the last shot. I kind of feel a bit weird about a kid selling me booze.

nerd said:


anon anon said:

This could've been a really dynamic, stylish piece. Instead, it looks amateurish, dull and repetitive, and the talent was there just for the paycheck. I was expecting something uber-slick, but seeing the same action and background over and over again, and that 90's hologram effect thing? What a waste.

Graham said:

Who is the agency behind this?

joe said:


Jamie said:

OMG . This is so cool.

Guitar Collector said:

Love the SG and the choice of axes. Appreciate the attention to detail.

coolstuff said:

Looks like vodka's the new beer!

I'm with Joe said:

Beam me up, Scotty!

I'm trapped on a lame 3D design concept ice rink with a man-child in a his hip hop uniform directing a bunch of faux musicians who keep materialising and de-materilising like the rest of the Star Trek crew.

It's a nightmare, and to top it all off, the only thing they have to drink is this cheap vodka that the marketing lady keeps sayin' is 'pure'.

Pure PR is all I can figure out. 'Truth or Dare' is the soundtrack, and I'm thinkin' that Dare has to be the way to go, 'cause the only thing that's True about this whole megillah is that it's truly awful, not to mention the amateurish vfx that make Kirk's Enterprise look like 'Inception', by comparison.

Forgetaboutit. Really.

Paycheck Police said:

'The talent was just there for a paycheck' - yeah, good point. I bet that's never happened before.

vfx said:

It gets pretty busy, but I don't mind the analog vhs tape thing.

wasted opp said:

cool idea, whoever art directed this though needs a good slap. messy and agree pharell looks 14 in those shorts,

Show me the money said:

Of course he was just there for the paycheck.

Anyone who saw his talk at Cannes would know he's 10% artist, and 90% businessman.

Lucy said:

sexy. love the shorts. love everything about that man

Badda Bing said:

God that Pharrell dude is a fucking douche bag, what about his stupid shorts... his music sucks so hard... what one track! that's all he's got.

Tits McGee said:

Good call Badda Bing. That's why he's driving a Ferrari Enzo & bangs supermodels on his bed (which is made of money & diamonds & caviar & truffles & gold).

Trelise said:

I'm with Tits McGee

I'm with Joe said:

@Tits McGee, and his remora, Trelise

Donald Trump is also 'driving a Ferrari Enzo & bangs supermodels on his bed (which is made of money & diamonds & caviar & truffles & gold)'.

You wanna emulate him as well? Big Boy's Toys and Tits and all that other shit aren't everything, McGee, especially if you have to be a public fool to get them.

All that glitters is not bling, just ask Badda Bing.

yes please said:

yeah i would emulate them.. sounds awesome

Z said:

Props for Pharrell. Best Australian Hip Hop Commercial to date.

gimme some said:

yep. that's dope

Tits McGee said:

Hi I'm with Joe,

Big boys toys & tits are awesome. If you don't like them you are probably a bit weird or possibly Germaine Greer.

Cool rhyme at the end of your comment too - put a beat behind it you could be a mad rapper & have a threesome in a Bugatti. Keep it up.

T. McGee

I'm not with Joe said:

You can't exactly compare a touped and tangerine reality TV buffoon billionaire with Pharrell Williams and his posse of gangsters. Tit's McGee and Trelise have got it right... if you can get it without totally selling out, go for it.

Paul said:

Getting Pharrell is cool in itself (bet that wasn't hard?). Coming up with a good idea and making a great looking spot is better. Respect. Well done.

Oh Dear said:

Who did the post? It's bloody awful...

Orange with Envy said:

That looks like fun.
Lots of toys to play with.
I wish I had an orange stack!

Max said:

I thought the Monkeys won Smirnoff? Even changed their name for the business...
Why wasn't it their idea they ran with?

boomerang said:

i believe 10:44 because the client was too far a long the global approval process on this one. unfortunately though after seeing this...

Trisha said:

I wish they're learn to spell - why do people think social media is a licence to use spinglish instead of English??

redGreg said:

@ Badda Bing, you are a douche. Type "The Neptunes" into Wikipedia. Pharrell has produced more top 20 hits in the last 10+ years, then Australians as a collective have won Lions.

I am not so sure that Pharrell is the reason behind you problems with the TVCs execution.

Trueth be known said:

Boomerang the trueth is the monkeys pitched on this and lost to Leos. The monkey have done work sadley I think they are hinding it.

bitter said:

Wow! That is breathtakingly crap. WTF with that room? And that cheesy video effect. And the peoples feet sliding on the floor?

i thought monkeys said:

won the smirnoff business.

Jane said:

They obviously didn't win all of it and are still bitter about it...

Glad to see an Australian client supporting great work made locally.

breathtakingly bitter said:

Truth or Dare! My favourite NERD tune. Got any Pharrell stories?

Hugo said:

Its N*E*R*D! And Pharell's a f'n genius.

Little MD said:

Shame the vodka is not very pure and is made in Huntingwood in NSW...

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