Saturday, August 21, 2010

BAMA Vodka Reloaded

Earlier this year I did a couple of magazine ads for BAMA and VONOST 88, the two leading vodka brands of Solomon Spirits, a US-based alcoholic beverages manufacturer and one of my major clients abroad. Now they have ordered me a new advertisement for a re-branded version of BAMA Vodka, which might share the container and the visual style with VONOST 88.

My part was to create a new advertisement poster, based on VONOST 88 magazine ad (seen on the left). The task seemed quite simple, since I had all the basic materials at hand. I decided to combine the elements from both previous designs and add an Alabama landscape in the background to cheer up things a bit. That's where the problems started.

The first design demos featured a vintage photo by William Christenberry, taken near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It suited the theme perfectly, because, according to the advertisement text, the vodka is being filtered with "the world's best limestone quarried exclusively from Alabama," and the photo displayed some hills, looking pretty much like a quarry site. Unfortunately, that wasn't gonna happen: the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which holds the copyright on that photo, is a division of the US Federal Government and thus cannot allow their materials to be used in liquor campaigns. And the happiness was so close, as Russians say.

So we had to find another scenery for the background. We searched high and low, but were unable to find anything as fitting as that Tuscaloosa photo. The rocky landscapes from Alabama Hills would make a nice replacement, but unfortunately they are located in California, not Alabama. Finally, tired and frustrated, we gave up and decided in favor of a photo of Mount Cheaha, the highest mountain in Alabama. By the way, the photo we chose is in public domain. No copyright, no headache.


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