Medvedev to become Russia's 'vodka icon'

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Moscow, Dec 15 (UNI) Hoping to cash on the name of eventual winner in the Presidential election, Russia's vodka distilleries are entering into the 'spirit' of Presidential race, betting on front-runner Dmitry Medvedev, Russia Today TV channel reported today.

The leading candidate and experts believe that Mr Medvedev's brand-name will be as popular as Putin's.

The Kauffmman distillery has already applied to Russian Patent Service to allot it the brand vodka name 'Volodya I Medvedi' (Volodya and Bears)-diminutive version of Mr Putin's first name and Mr Medvedev's surname.

Another distillery has applied to register for its new vodka brands 'Tsar Medvedev' (Czar Bear) and 'Medvedka.' Three years after Mr Putin became President 'Putinka' vodka hit the Moscow's shelves. It was a good marketing move and now one of the biggest brands in Russia.

''The only way this works is if the politician is charismatic and bright and if it carries over to the product,'' Brand Lab's director Aleksandr Eromenko told the channel.

''It is hard to tell if this will work yet because we do not know what kind of leader Mr Medvedev might be. I think it will clear soon and we will understand his image and how it will effect brands that are trying to market him,'' Mr Eromenko said.

But Mr Putin is expected to remain a strong political figure and any bottle with his name on it will always be a 'bestseller,' he pointed out.

"The mood is really important. 'Putinka' managed to use the President's name but also to capture his image in the design of the product, which has played a big part in its success,'' he added.

So, Mr Medvedev might have to prove himself first before 'Medvedevka' will push 'Putinka' off the shelves.

UNI

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