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Skuflix’s latest film, VODKA ROCKS!, is all about marketing and branding. And when it came to marketing our own film, we wanted to take it a step further than simply getting people to watch it: we wanted people to actually experience and acknowledge the impact of the film’s themes, and witness firsthand the power behind marketing and branding on the everyday consumer. What began as a promotion for our film soon turned into a full scale experiment that surprised even us with the results.

VODKA ROCKS! tells us that there is power behind a product’s brand and image. We wanted to put this idea to the ultimate test by seeing if people would buy into a product with a fancy logo and presentation, even if the content itself was worthless. We created a fake VODKA ROCKS! brand “0% Alcohol Content Vodka,” thinking that as far as worthless products go, it’s hard to beat a vodka without alcohol in it. But we hoped that maybe, if presented in a nice enough bottle with a professional looking logo, some people would be willing to try it.

For several weeks, we took our fake vodka product (which was really just water with a little bit of flavoring and coloring) to the streets of Williamsburg and Dumbo, Brooklyn, to see how the public would react. Every week, we were astonished with the results. Not only did people come rushing over to try our product, but many even complimented it or showed interest in purchasing it. Even those who did not compliment it at least accepted it as a real product and never questioned its legitimacy.

To take the experiment one step further, we tried the same thing without the logos and branding. Walking around with an unmarked bottle of the same product, we found that nobody was willing to try it. Simply put, they didn’t trust it. The conclusions we drew from this were clear: people will put all of their trust into a logo or a brand name, even if it’s one they have never seen or heard of before.

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