Smirnoff Ad: The Deconstructed Martini – What do you think?

Bartender or Mixologist

Well, it was bound to happen. For some industry pundits and aficionados, the term ‘mixologist’ is another term for a bartender or, as some put it, a bar chef. But, for many in the industry, the term mixologist is off-putting and the preference is for bartender.

Ray Foley, founder and publisher of Bartender Magazine  has this to say about the different terminology:  “A mixologist is a person who really doesn’t know how to tend bar but has the money to get a PR agent.” Whew, that Ray, such a kidder, always holds back his opinions.

The Smirnoff Ad

A friend in the industry alerted me to the Smirnoff ad that seems to agree with Mr. Foley. According to Adweek, “With the tagline ‘Exclusively for everybody,’ Smirnoff spends most of the ad mocking all things VIP, while also taking quite a few digs at the mixology movement, represented by a Stockholm-educated neckbeard who curates his herbs and deconstructs martinis.” (Neckbeard?)

Here is a link to the Smirnoff Vodka Deconstructed Martini ad, in case you can’t view it below.

So, I have two questions:

For Diageo (owner of Smirnoff) – the ad is clever and very well done. But, you’re poking fun at pretentiousness (which is very cool) so aren’t you biting the hand that feeds you? Aren’t you the people who’ve been pushing the term mixology? If the answer is yes, good for you.

And now dear reader – what do you think of the ad?

(My thanks to Robert Lehrman and John Messinger of for bringing this to my attention.)

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  1. I think the ad takes a shot at pretentious Vodkas and the occasional faux effete bartenders and restaurants that try to justify the sometimes exorbitant up charge for the Kettle Ones and Grey Goose’s of the world and the fancy menu drinks. While both good, Smirnoff is often ranked #1 or very close at half or a third the price. I think this might be part of the message.

  2. Forget about the mixologist and that “movement”….what are they suggesting about spirit brands whose profiles exude cache and exclusivity such as Ciroc?

    That approach could easily be turned into a rail against many of the brands that line diageo’s coffers!

  3. Moronic…Smirnoff goes for $12.99 a bottle at Safeway…nuf said…a “Mixologist” would NOT use their S _ _ T in any drink/cocktail nor waste freshly ground Cardamom on it LOL

  4. The ad is fun and well done. If I were to ever drink vodka I’d consider Smirnoff.

    “Bartender” has rung the bell for about, what?, 15 centuries now. A mixologis doesn’t set’m up for the road at 3:00 AM. A mixologis doesn’t pour drinks at Standup Mike’s.

    “Mixologis” is fine for the young now-legal drinker who seeks some sophistication in booz.

    The mature drinker has settled on a Cosmopolitan, or a Boilermaker – that may or may not be brands specific.

    I’m just having fun. Isn’t that the point?

  5. I like the add !! It takes a well deserved shot at pretense ( bad stuff; pretense ) . I have the same regard for bartenders behaving this way as I do for Hollywood actors preaching their political views. Its more appropriate for people we expect to entertain us to keep their mouths shut and just do what they are paid to do . The narcissism of millennials knows no bounds !

  6. Real bartenders who were around long before this trend ever started appreciate ads like this. They need more, we are sick of the pretentious mixologist who attend tales and think they know something. They all want to be the next jerry thomas but don’t know any drinks outside of their artisianal menu. Thank you smirnoff, keep them coming. I’m going to be so happy when this trend is over.

  7. Funny, but market desingend for this add is way out of my 60+years old league! I know how much this drink costs and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay $10.00 bucks for it!!!

  8. Pretty funny if the Stockholm reference is a subtle dig at Absolut and the unlimited number of limited releases!

  9. Interesting thoughts. At the end of the day I think it does a great job at actually telling it how it is. Vodka is Vodka, it’s an odourless, flavourless spirit that mixes well with whatever you want to mix with it. And contrary to belief’s of certain people above, Smirnoff is infact a great quality vodka. Don’t be so naive to think that just because it’s cheap it’s crap. It’s cheap because they can make so much of it. I believe it’s won numerous blind taste tests beating out the more commonly perceived “premium vodka’s” (New York times 2005) and they go to pretty extreme lengths to make it as pure as possible, don’t think anyone else has anywhere near a 10 stage filtration…..

  10. I think the bartender’s beard would not be allowed in a real bar. There are health laws that cover that. Who knows what could come falling out of that nasty beard

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