written by Jordan Valinsky, CNN
It's three days into Dry January for those who observe, but that doesn't mean you can't touch the vodka.
Tito's Handmade Vodka has enlisted Martha Stewart for a cheeky campaign that helps people who have temporarily abstained from alcohol with some ideas for what to do with their vodka — besides drinking it.
In a 60-second ad, Stewart uses her do-it-yourself knowledge to get creative with vodka, like putting a splash (or two) in a marinara sauce or deodorizing stinky boots. Other tongue-in-cheek ideas include Stewart encouraging people to use the Tito's bottle to tenderize meat and to water their flowers with the vodka. "Smells like February," she jokes in the ad.
To complement the campaign, Tito's has launched an online store selling bottle-topper attachments to help people follow Stewart's suggestions. For $10, buyers will get a box with three attachments, including a spray nozzle for deodorizing and a pour spout for the pasta or any other sauces that need a punch. Net proceeds from the box goes to charity.
"We are all about consumers drinking Tito's the way they want to drink it. Whether that means they're drinking less, taking a month off, or trying new recipes, we are supportive of our fan base's consumption choices," Taylor Berry, vice president of brand marketing for Tito's, exclusively told CNN about the campaign.
"The idea that you can still use Tito's when you're abstaining from alcohol is what has made this campaign so enjoyable to create," Berry said. "For those doing dry January, well, Tito's will still be here for you come February."
Tito's is no stranger to creating amusing ad campaigns to help the privately owned company break out in the $7 billion industry. In August, Tito's sold empty cans that encouraged customers to make canned cocktails however they like them. The idea was a troll against the growing trend and to tell customers it's focusing on its core product only.
Dry January is growing in popularity every year. Last year, a Nielsen-owned food and drink research firm said that 35% of legal-age US adults skipped alcohol for the entire month — a trend that's growing in popularity as drinkers look to reset their bodies in the New Year. That's an increase from the previous high of 21% who completed Dry January in 2019.
Sales of non-alcoholic products are also growing: NielsenIQ recently reported that retail sales of non-alcoholic spirits jumped nearly 90% between August 2021 and August 2022, accounting for more than $5 million in sales. Still, that's a very small sliver of the $88 billion industry.
Berry said there's "undoubtedly interest amongst consumers" for non-alcoholic beverages because people are changing their drinking habits, although not necessarily ditching drinking for good.
"Just like many may choose to have a glass of water in between cocktails, some non-alcoholic beverages provide an alternative for drinkers when they want to moderate or feel like enjoying a drink without the alcohol by volume," he said. "Ultimately non-alcoholic drinks are mostly formulated to taste like familiar adult beverages, giving many consumers an occasional substitute, not necessarily an outright replacement." Cinematography by Luca Fantini.