Smirnoff is launching its new “Welcome Home” campaign to roll out the welcome mat for the millions of LGBTQIA+ community members and allies expected to travel to New York for Pride celebrations. Continuing its decades of support as an ally in the ongoing fight for equality, while making its Pride footprints louder and prouder than ever before, Smirnoff is teaming up with Orange Is The New Black actress and LGBTQIA+ advocate, Laverne Cox; star of Dancing Queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race, Alyssa Edwards; and Queer Eye television personality, hairdresser and web series star, Jonathan Van Ness for the campaign.
The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign includes a digital video series; an immersive experiential pop-up; two styles of limited-edition Smirnoff No. 21 Pride bottles; a fabulous float at the NYC Pride March and a continued donation commitment to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the United States’ largest LGBTQIA+ civil rights organization.
“Smirnoff is enjoyed around the world by the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. In the spirit of our brand’s international footprint and building off decades of support, we are continuing to push for global equality through our new ‘Welcome Home’ campaign and our continued commitment to HRC,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff, DIAGEO North America. “While 85% of LGBTQIA+ consumers want their community represented in brand campaigns,1 only 12.6% of marketers actually include them in their annual media planning.2 As the No. 1 vodka brand in the world, we have taken a stance to support this community year-round, as evidenced through our work with Laverne, Jonathan and Alyssa across both Pride and non-Pride campaigns.”
“What I love most about the gorgeous new Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home’ campaign is that she shines a light in on how Pride is more than just a party; it’s truly a home to our LGBTQIA+ brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings around the world,” said Smirnoff partner Jonathan Van Ness. “I cannot wait to celebrate Pride with Smirnoff later this month, and to personally welcome all of these beautiful people to my home of New York.”
This year, New York is hosting the largest global Pride celebration in the world, spanning all of June and marking the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Smirnoff, which is made in America but enjoyed in over 130 countries globally, will welcome love in all its forms home to New York through its “Welcome Home” campaign. It will strive to honor and celebrate the strides made towards LGBTQIA+ liberation over the last five decades, as well as those still to come.
“When Smirnoff asked me if I would be a part of their ‘Welcome Home’ campaign, I immediately said yes,” said brand partner and LGBTQIA+ advocate Laverne Cox. “Their beautiful message is all about welcoming our community home to New York where the famous Stonewall Uprising took place 50 years ago. I hope our work celebrates not just the LGBTQIA+ community here in New York but also recognizes those across the globe, celebrating in their own way. Hopefully with a delicious vodka cocktail in-hand, of course!”
The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign will come to life in multiple ways:
- “Welcome Home” Videos with Laverne Cox: Smirnoff is launching a video series starring Laverne Cox, which welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community to New York for the global Pride celebrations. The videos debuted today on the brand’s social channels and will also be broadcast at New York City area airports – LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark International Airport – to greet the millions of people traveling to New York for Pride all in the spirit of “Welcome Home.”
- House of Pride with Jonathan Van Ness: Smirnoff is creating a unique pop-up experience for media, influencers and consumers 21+ in downtown Manhattan filled with fun, global-themed Pride cocktails. The space will be inspired by a home, featuring six Insta-worthy rooms where Smirnoff will pay homage to – and celebrate – the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as its future. The pop-up will take place Wednesday, June 26 through Friday, June 283, during which time Jonathan Van Ness will make a special appearance as the host.
- Smirnoff Limited-Edition Pride Bottles: Smirnoff will continue its annual traditional of limited-edition Pride bottles with its latest iteration, the Smirnoff No. 21 “Welcome” bottles. These new bottles feature the award-winning Smirnoff No. 21 vodka on the inside, and on the outside, the brand label is replaced with “Welcome” in six languages4 – English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin – to welcome the global LGBTQIA+ community to New York for Pride and to remind everyone that Pride is a home where everyone is welcome. While these bottles are not available for retail purchase, they are being created in limited quantities to spread messages of inclusivity and diversity. In addition, Smirnoff will also re-release its Smirnoff No. 21 “Love Wins” bottles, which feature an iridescent rainbow aesthetic and photographs of real couples and real love. These bottles are available for retail purchase, and the brand has pledged to donate $1 for every bottle made to HRC, totaling nearly $1.5 million by 2021.
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Commitment: Smirnoff, and its parent company DIAGEO, are one of HRC’s longest-standing partners and biggest advocates and have been early and active supporters of LGBTQIA+ equal rights. In addition to the commitment of nearly $1.5 million to HRC by 2021 through the Smirnoff “Love Wins” bottles, for the last 11 years Smirnoff and DIAGEO have received a perfect 100% score on HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for LGBTQIA+ workplace equality and in February 2018 were honored with the prestigious HRC Corporate Equality Award.
- NYC Pride March with Alyssa Edwards: Smirnoff is proud to continue its longstanding tradition of participating in the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30. In partnership with popular drag icon Alyssa Edwards, the brand is creating a fabulous New York City themed float in the spirit of the Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home” campaign, with Alyssa as the star, dressed as “Lady Liberty.” The bold and inspiring Smirnoff float will be supported by 300 marchers, both members of the community and allies.
No matter where you’re from, who you love or how you identify, please remember to drink responsibly and celebrate Pride with an open heart. New York is home. Pride is here. From your friends at Smirnoff, Welcome Home!
Smirnoff LGBTini Signature Cocktail
Celebrate Pride by mixing up a delicious signature cocktail:
- 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka or Smirnoff “Love Wins” Vodka
- 0.25 oz. Dry Vermouth
- 5 Green Olives (dipped in rainbow edible glitter)
Combine Smirnoff and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with olives that have been dipped in edible rainbow glitter and placed on a cocktail pick. Sip and enjoy!