Independence Day is often celebrated with fireworks, barbecues and parties with friends and family, but this year, July 4th falls on Wednesday—right in the middle of the work week. Calling the poor timing of this national holiday “Un-American,” Smirnoff Ice is offering to pay for 100 people to take a few extra days off in a contest that marks both 242 years of independence and the limited-time return of its “patriotic” Red, White & Berry flavor.
Using the tagline, “Dear America, Tell Your Boss You’re Taking A 4th Of July 5 Day Weekend,” Smirnoff Ice will pay for people to take July 5th and 6th off, which comes out to $500 per person, regardless of what their daily income is and whether or not they actually go on vacation. All contestants have to do is comment on the related posts on the @SmirnoffUS Facebook and Instagram pages, describing how they’d celebrate a five-day weekend, to be entered into a random drawing.
Part of the joke is that Smirnoff brand was founded in Moscow and owned by UK beverage giant Diageo, but its US products are all made locally. Smirnoff has poked fun at this fact before, and given how the contest has drawn over 2,500 comments on Facebook and more than 10,000 views on Instagram, consumers appear to accept Smirnoff Ice as an American-made beverage.
“Smirnoff Ice is a brand that encourages people to have fun, so when we heard that the Fourth of July was on a Wednesday this year, we knew that is so not fun and may prevent many hard-working Americans from celebrating. We had to do something about it,” Smirnoff Ice brand director Krista Kiisk told AListDaily. “That’s why we’re giving 100 Americans the chance to extend their holiday to a five-day weekend by paying them to take July 5th and 6th off and celebrate with friends and family.”
To get the word out, Kiisk said that Smirnoff Ice took out a full-page print ad in Sunday’s New York Times in addition to its social campaigns and running homepage takeovers of the New York Times mobile and People.com this week. The beverage brand is also working with influencers to spread the word about the contest.
“Our goal is to ensure as many people as possible know about this opportunity and enter for the chance to be paid by Smirnoff Ice to take July 5th and 6th off to celebrate all things [America] the way she was meant to be celebrated,” said Kiisk,
Kiisk goes on to describe the extended vacation contest as a “perfect fit” for the brand’s emphasis on having fun and being made in America. “After all, what holiday is more fun and American than the [Fourth] of July?” she concludes.
The contest ends on July 1 when the company picks 100 winners. Smirnoff’s parent company Diageo also owns alcoholic beverage brands Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Guinness and others.