Brand Slam: Smirnoff vs. Bombay Sapphire

In Event's first Brand Slam, we compare the brand experience strategies of alcohol brands Smirnoff and Bombay Sapphire.

Smirnoff and Bombay Sapphire's brand experience marketing strategies go head to head
Smirnoff and Bombay Sapphire's brand experience marketing strategies go head to head


Event structure

 The Smirnoff Western Europe team does not have an overall person in charge of experiential. Kizzy Lilburne looks after social and strategic events such as Pride, and Jamie Young heads up festivals. Golin handles PR, social and occasional experiential activity, while RPM is lead experiential agency and 72 and Sunny Amsterdam heads creative strategy.

Social footprint 

@SmirnoffEurope has 8,000 followers on Twitter and 10 million Facebook fans globally.

Recent campaigns

‘Inclusive good times’ has been a major focus in Smirnoff’s events programme for several years. Smirnoff Europe has a year-round partnership with a team that organises LGBT events including Smirnoff Winter Pride, held at London’s Tobacco Dock in November.

Next big campaign: 

Smirnoff has recently launched the ‘We’re Open’ campaign to bring to life its positioning in a playful and simple way, which will be promoted through PR activity and a partnership with festival owners Live Nation. This will see Smirnoff carry out experiential activity at some of the biggest festivals in Europe this summer.

Bombay Sapphire

Event structure

The Bacardi-owned premium gin’s UK brand team is headed by Jon Sampson and works primarily with APR Communications, Hue & Cry and NP&Co for event production and Proximity across digital. H&K Strategies works alongside APR Communications on PR strategy and events for Bombay Sapphire Global.

Social footprint 

@BSapphireginuk has 5,000-plus followers on Twitter and there are 540,000 likes on its Facebook page, 1,600-plus fans on Instagram and 6,678 subscribers on YouTube.

Recent campaigns

Bombay Sapphire opened its first visitor experience at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire last year, showcasing the brand’s heritage. It also hosted a pop-up ‘gin and tonic terrace’ last summer in the style of a bespoke yacht at London’s five-star Rosewood Hotel.

Next big campaign

The team is currently working on experiential activity set to take visitors on a ‘journey to the ends of the earth’ to discover the beauty of Bombay Sapphire. Consumer activity will also take place around the Star of Bombay brand, a super premium gin that was launched recently.


Event says: A hard one to call, but for that feel-good summer festival feeling, make mine a Smirnoff. 

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