By Ethan Jakob-Craft, Ad Age
Skyy Vodka has tapped Mono to be its first global agency of record as the Campari Group-owned spirits brand prepares to relaunch later this year.
Mono’s selection as the brand’s lead agency follows a five-month creative review process that consolidates its primary U.S. creative duties, previously handled by VMLY&R, with its international marketing efforts that once fell to a range of agencies.
“In this pivotal moment for Skyy, where we will deliver the next generation of growth on our storied brand, we are excited to announce this partnership with Mono,” said Marina Santos, Campari’s senior global director of white spirits. “In this new role, Mono will start by developing a fully integrated global campaign.”
The agency’s first task is to develop a worldwide creative platform that can run across all media in multiple international markets beginning in the first half of 2021—something it can do with a largely clean slate. The brand’s owner confirmed last year that it plans to overhaul Skyy’s packaging, brand claims and even the alcohol itself.
After reporting 2020’s results last week, which posted a full-year sales decline of 16.2% that Campari attributes to pre-launch de-stocking in the U.S., group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz told analysts that Skyy is poised for a new positioning that includes an improvement in what he calls “premium-ization,” Just-Drinks reports.
Campari’s results also acknowledged that its advertising and promotion spending across all brands—including Aperol, Grand Marnier and Wild Turkey bourbon—was down 3.1% year-over-year on a reported basis.
There’s no word yet on what Mono’s debut campaign for Skyy might look like, though if history is any guide, some creative elements may lean into the progressive identity of San Francisco, the city in which Skyy was founded 29 years ago.
Previously a sponsor of New York City and Los Angeles’ Pride parades, Skyy has long embraced the LGBTQ+ community in its American advertising and prioritized the support of social justice groups following the police killing of George Floyd last summer. It’s also a cause the brand has pushed internationally. In 2017, it teamed up with competitor Absolut in 2017 to champion same-sex marriage rights in Australia via a social campaign from TBWA/Sydney.
“We’re excited to develop a new breakthrough and enduring communication platform for such an iconic brand as Skyy,” said Jim Scott, founder and managing partner at Mono, adding that “the chemistry and collaboration we have with the whole Skyy team is very special.”
Coinciding with its latest brand partnership, Minneapolis-based Mono has announced that it plans to expand its office footprint in Lower Manhattan to expand their relationship with Campari’s North American headquarters, located near Bryant Park in Midtown.