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Diddy's vodka ad sees good times — at home

Celebrating in the new economy could mean more time at home and less time in the bars, Sean "Diddy" Combs says.
Diddy Diageo
Sean Combs just released a new ad for his superpremium vodka Ciroc last week called "The Art of Celebration."Chris Pizzello / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Celebrating in the new economy could mean more time at home and less time in the bars, Sean "Diddy" Combs says.

The entertainment mogul's new ad for his superpremium vodka Ciroc is a throwback to the 1950s, featuring Combs and his friends, clad in tuxedos and gowns, drinking and dancing to Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me."

The black-and-white ad, called "The Art of Celebration," shows sophisticated, refined times at home — not out in flashy clubs, Combs told The Associated Press on Monday. Given the economy, he said that could be a trend going forward.

"I think you'll see more of these types of celebrations than you'll see people going out to clubs and having to spend hundreds of dollars at a bar," he said. "I think you'll see more intimate gatherings where people are coming over to each other's houses."

Combs is in charge of all marketing for the brand, which he co-runs with Diageo PLC. He shares in the profits 50-50 under the multiyear agreement struck last year. Sales have doubled since he took over the marketing, Combs said. Efforts include promotions with consumers, print ads, and product placement in movies and shows, like HBO's "Entourage." A television ad last year for New Year's featured Combs in a nightclub filled with people dancing, drinking and celebrating the holiday.

With the new television ad, Combs said he wanted to take a sophisticated tone without it being too over-the-top, instead focusing on elegance. The ad evokes a time when "bling" didn't rule, he said.

"It's just a different way. I think if anything it was very creative that it didn't portray the bling era. If anything it portrays something that this generation hasn't seen, which is very sophisticated, ultra chic," he said.

The ad buy is worth $3 million and will include airings on E!, Bravo, ESPN, and other channels. Combs said he was focused on the brand, spending time on it daily, and considers it as high a priority as his Sean John clothing line.

He said he was concerned about the economy for all people, but said Ciroc is still an attainable luxury for people at about $34 a bottle. Combs said even in tough times, people want to celebrate, whether it's stocking up their bar for times at home or that special night out.

"Even with the economy as it is there are still going to be times that we're going to need to take out our woman or our man and go out and just get away from the pressures of life," he said.