SOBIESKI VODKA: A CASE STUDY

Sobieski Vodka, the #1 premium vodka in Poland, was ready to move into the overheated U.S. vodka market.

With less than a week before the pitch, Jay was tasked with racing to Poland to shoot, write and edit a short film; an extra dash of moxie to be played at the top of the agency's presentation. (Here's a clip...).

To be heard over the din of the so-called "vodka wars", the agency needed a big idea. Jay's print ad was the first step in establishing the voice of Sobieski in the United States:

"An Announcement For Those Prepared To Have Their Illusions Shattered.

Vodka Originated In Poland.

Sorry Russia."


Jay's strategic branding concept took aim at the excessive gimmickry flooding the vodka marketplace. In a market lousy with stale tactics like "fashion-conscious bottles", Jay wrote the Sobieski voice in the spirit of confidence and crystal clear transparency:

"We Designed A Bottle To Suit The Spirit Inside.

Notice The Lack Of La-Di-Da."


A simple message, designed to move a brand - unknown to U.S. consumers - straight to the top tier with breath-taking speed.

Jay's branding concept of authentic quality and rich tradition cut through the welter of strained assertions with a fresh voice and muscular simplicity that resulted in record-breaking sales.






"I found Jay to be an incredible resource, and person. A rare combination of many different skills - writer, producer, camera man, researcher, to name a few. A great doer, a great collaborator."

Jim Garaventi
Partner/Creative Director
MECHANICA (Ad Agency/Saucony)



"We found in Jay Weiss the writer who perfectly captured our unique identity across every platform for our major expansion and marketing effort."

Dorothy Hamilton
Founder and CEO, The French Culinary Inst.



"How I wish I could write as clearly, simply and elegantly as the person who created this copy.

It isn't good, or even great: it's exquisite, beyond my most ambitious ambitions and expectations. The copy is sublimely elegant."

Jim Mullen
Founder, Mullen Advertising
On Jay's work for the French Culinary Institute



"Faced with danger, scant resources, and a complex, fluid story to cover, Jay's intelligence, professionalism, and superb instincts were absolutely invaluable."

Dan Rather
Former CBS News Anchor



"He has covered stories all around the world, a remarkable body of serious work... everything from pop culture to medical science to the most intricate levels of foreign policy."

Tom Bettag
Exec. Prod., ABC News Nightline



"...an insatiable intellectual curiosity, a shamefully rigorous work-ethic and rather amazing reserves of physical energy all of which are clearly reflected in the exemplary work he has done."

Jim Wooten
Reporter, ABC News; New York Times



"Jay has a brilliant mastery of language and images. He was instrumental in my successful judicial campaign as my key strategist and consultant."

Caroline Tesche
Judge - Elect



"Jay Weiss lets every story touch him. I have seen him connect with people all over the world, with a gift for really understanding what the person in our camera's range is experiencing.

In his career overseas, he encountered maybe a couple thousand people who got through to him. That's a pretty big cast of characters from so many vivid memories from so many journeys overseas. "

John Donvan
ABC News Correspondent