Iceland is a small country. Reyka is a small-batch Icelandic vodka. With a small marketing budget.
From 2016-2019, I helped build the Reyka brand into one of the weirdest underdog stories in the spirits world.
ICELAND VS. FRANCE
In 2016, Iceland was (inexplicably) set to play against France in the Euro Cup. We decided to challenge French vodka Grey Goose to a friendly wager: loser has to drink the other country’s vodka. We found a real Icelander to deliver the message. The video (and resulting apology) won a 2016 Webby award for social media.
BUILDING THE BRAND
From then on, our Icelandic “Ambassador” developed an online following, and soon was starring videos explaining what makes Reyka so unique. We shot hundreds of these things.
In print and outdoor media, our approach was a little different. We created a surreal, otherworldly version of Iceland, full of strange beasts and vivid colors.
The point is, Iceland is wonderfully weird.
WORLD CUP 2018
Despite all odds, Iceland qualified for the 2018 World Cup. The US, however, did not. We knew we had an opportunity on our hands. We created a multimedia campaign encouraging US fans to root for Iceland.
ADOPT A PUFFIN
The puffin is Iceland’s unofficial national symbol. But due to climate change, these adorable little guys are endangered.
So in 2019, Reyka joined with the Audubon Society to keep puffins in Iceland for years to come.
Reyka doesn't make flavored vodka. But on April Fools day, we pretended that they did.
And one time, we did a spot entirely in Icelandic. About a fish.
Working on this small, strange brand has been one of the great joys of my career and I’ll be forever grateful for it.