Gun-shaped vodka seeks $45k for launch22nd August, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
A China-based entrepreneur has turned to crowdfunding to raise money for a vodka packaged in a submachine gun.
The new brand, called 9mm, comprises a tinted black glass gun-shaped container holding 500ml of French vodka, which is housed in a foam-lined aluminium flight case (pictured, left).
To both fund the launch of the product and gauge the response to such a radical vodka, creator of 9mm, Jim Denoon has resorted to international crowdfunding site Indiegogo, which is headquarter in San Francisco.
Denoon, a British national who has lived in Shanghai for the last 10 years, hopes to raise US$45,000 over the next 56 days to bring the vodka to market.
“Launching a spirits brand doesn’t come cheap, we’ve calculated we need around US$45,000, and even then it’s very tight,” explained Denoon.
“Moreover, it’s risky, especially when you’re embarking upon something as left-field as this, and if possible, we’d rather test the market first – that’s why crowdfunding presents the perfect solution for us,” he continued.
Not only does a crowdfunding campaign give Denoon a platform to show 9mm Vodka to potential consumers, it also, hopefully, generates sufficient capital to make the launch possible.
However, if the campaign falls short of its target, all the people who have pre-ordered the vodka will have their pledges returned.
In that situation, Denoon said, “I would probably need to accept that I misread what the market wants.”
Denoon told db that he believed the product, which will be manufactured in China, would probably be most popular in North America, and accepted that the product would undoubtedly attract the attention of The Portman Group in the UK, which ensures alcoholic drinks are marketed in a socially-responsible way.
Other than the US, Denoon said he hoped 9mm would sell in Russia, Asia and South America.
He also acknowledged that his product is not the first spirit to be packaged in a gun-shaped glass container, highlighting the existence of both a rum and tequila in pistols and revolvers (see picture, right).
Alongside the vodka, Denoon hopes to sell a range of 9mm merchandise, from key rings to hooded sweatshirts.
He also said that he hopes to promote the vodka using the tagline “shoot vodka”, and make a promotional video starring his girlfriend Erica (pictured). This, he explained, would feature Erica in a camouflage bikini, and, upon her apparent misinterpretation of the instruction “shoot vodka”, would see her fire an enormous gun and obliterate a large display of vodka bottles.
Denoon pointed out the success of previous crowdfunding campaigns for drinks-related products, such as the “Pick your Poison” decanter, which has attracted $25,000 worth of backing, bypassing by a massive margin its goal of $1,000.
Other successful crowdfunding projects previously reported by db include Zane Lamprey’s television show about the world’s drinking cultures which broke its $500,000 target, and a proposed book by wine writer and educator Wink Lorch on Jura’s wines, which hit its fundraising target of £7,500 well ahead of its deadline.
On the other hand, one recently-failed campaign comprised an attempt to launch an upmarket English vodka called Roe Deer, which only attracted 5 pledges amounting to £171, a fraction of the £23,000 goal.
A few other drink-related crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo can be viewed over the following pages and click here to read more about 9mm Vodka.