Smirnoff needs you to "freeze" your mates from afar this vacation season

At large, in-person parties, which aren't recommended for most of 2020, the rate at which people have been "iced up" this year is the classic college party prank that hid a bottle of Smirnoff ice cream and whoever finds them is forced to chug the drink in front of a cheering crowd of their peers – has certainly made a historic leap.

Instead, many of us sat inside, grouping ourselves in their respective quarantine pods, working on puzzles, and watching every horrific vacation movie that was available.

To bridge the gap between then and now and give fans the opportunity to “freeze” friends and family from afar this season, Smirnoff has released a new series of Christmas puzzles with a devious surprise. While the outside of the puzzle boxes shows classic, family-friendly holiday scenes like snowmen, Christmas trees, or festive cats, fans will find that the image on the actual puzzle has a bottle of Smirnoff ice cream right in the center of the photo.

The snowman puzzle is actually a Smirnoff iceman.Smirnoff

The puzzles are available online through the Diageo brand's fictional luxury counterpart, Cremsiffino (an anagram for Smirnoff Ice). Smirnoff launched Cremsiffino last year, allowing customers to purchase bottles of Smirnoff Ice disguised as luxury home appliances.

“With our Nicely Gifted Puzzles line, we want to give Smirnoff Ice fans something they're already looking for and improve the puzzle experience with an unexpected twist to inspire people to take a moment, a or sharing two laughs and enjoying something unexpected. Having fun with friends, colleagues and family this season… whether in person or from a distance, ”Krista Kiisk, Brand Director of Smirnoff, told Adweek.

A Smirnoff ice cream is the angel on the tree in the brand's Christmas tree puzzle.Smirnoff

Each puzzle costs $ 21 in honor of 2021 and includes a $ 5 code to Drizly that first-time users can use for any purchase in the liquor delivery app.

Smirnoff isn't the only alcohol brand to be setting up a holiday campaign confirming how many people will forego traveling home this year – a marked departure from the way alcohol brands typically advertise during the holidays.

Last week, Heineken launched its "Bestie Gift Ever" campaign with comedian and actor Awkwafina, which included a contest that fans could enter to win a cardboard clipping of themselves to be sent to friends and family members who support them won't see this year. Jose Cuervo started a very similar campaign just before Thanksgiving with his Cuervo two drinker competition.

Miller Lite celebrated the lack of office Christmas parties in its seasonal ad (which was also a literal work of art), and Gray Goose's ad was toasted holiday parties that we can attend in sweatpants and slippers instead of trying to squeeze into festive attire, that we have I haven't had to think about it in months.

In a year like no other, only the most adaptable and courageous marketers flourished.

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