It’s the first significant spend in the UK since distribution of the Campari-owned brand was picked up by Cellar Trends from Fior Brands, following the latter's demise last year.
Campari has earmarked the UK as a market with major potential for growth outside the US, where almost 90% of the Skyy's sales are currently generated. OLN has obtained market figures that show vodka sales have overtaken blended Scotch whisky in the off-trade.
Skyy is a sponsor of the movie version of Sex & The City, and will be given a £500,000 outdoor ad campaign later in the year, with the initial focus on the Midlands.
The brand is being positioned in an increasingly competitive vodka market as “stylish, glamorous and modern”, aiming at independent-minded professional women aged 25 to 35 and fashion-conscious “metro-males” from 20 to 35.
The UK market is also braced for fresh investment behind Absolut after its acquisition by Pernod Ricard, and new marketing campaigns have been launched recently for Stolichnaya and Wyborowa.
Russian Standard has also entered the UK with big amounts of marketing cash to spend.
UK marketing manager for Skyy, Katie Warren, said: “We are already taking considerable steps towards becoming on of the most glamorous vodka brands in the UK.”
US-made Skyy was first imported to the UK in the early 1990s by the now-defunct Allied Domecq.