ASM Liquor attracted the attention of the press with the first party, held in a Sydney church in March 2008. The event, held in the week leading up to Easter, was designed to introduce Sydney’s social set to Vodka O, the “Spirit of our Generation”, celebrating the drink’s purity.
The two follow-up events have been held in less controversial settings, the Captain Cook Hotel in Paddington, Sydney, and Transport bar, Melbourne. This time working with the “Tasteless” theme, party goers were able to interact with the new brand in an environment with a pastiche of kitsch. Invitees and bar staff alike dressed in plastic rubbish bags and smudged make up to conform to the “white trash” dress code. The parties included a Twister game run by a little person, a contortionist squeezing herself into a tiny glass box, female bodybuilders, life-size exotic dolls hanging from the rafters, back-to-back screenings of Baywatch and a large erotic ice luge. Patrons enjoyed the services of a face painter and had the opportunity for candid moments in the Vodka O photo booth.
Vodka O’s claim to organic fame is the level of purity provided by using evaporation to lower the percentage of methanol, and charcoal filters to remove other impurities. ASM encourage responsible drinking and suggest that the less impurities in a spirit, the better the taste and the easier the body to rehydrate after drinking in moderation.
ASM Liquor, a boutique liquor company, are growing their range of products to include Vodka O, Jinn Dry Gin, Tequila Blu, Kinkynero Rum, Kinkylux Rum and Naked Scot Scotch Whisky. With great success in the Australian market, they are now preparing to launch into Asia and Europe.
However, without the luxury of major capital, ASM rely largely on creativity and connectivity when it comes to advertising. Simon Sibia, who set the company up with Julian Moss, says the company has decided to raise its profile by turning up at bottle shops for tastings and hosting high profile, low cost events. He explains that introducing a new spirit brand is best done with “touchy feely” marketing. “To convince the uncommitted drinker you need to provide an experience they can see, taste, touch and smell.”