Redd’s Wicked partners with Grand Theft Auto illustrator for new video spots

Redd’s Wicked is embracing its dark side.

With an edgy campaign aimed at millennial males, the brand is taking to television and a novel partnership with Xbox and Spotify with three new video spots slated to run this year.

Its first video, “UFOMG,” will start running today on cable television stations, such as Comedy Central, ESPN, FX and on WWE broadcasts, as well as on YouTube and social media. And, in a first-of-its-kind partnership, Redd’s Wicked is poised to become the first alcohol beverage to advertise on-console across the Xbox One network.


Developed in partnership with illustrator Stephen Bliss, the first of the new ads draws inspiration from graphic noir. It features three millennials cracking open Redd’s Wicked Watermelon at a club and getting pulled up into a UFO, Redd’s Wicked in hand. The spots feature the tagline “There’s Wicked Within.”

Bliss, best known for his work on one of the largest video-game franchises of all time, the action-adventure Grand Theft Auto, worked with Redd’s Wicked to develop and illustrate the new campaign, which “captures the emotion of anticipation of what’s to come,” says Frank Cirone, senior marketing manager for the brand.

Coming off a strong year in the convenience store channel, Redd’s Wicked in February launched a new flavor, Watermelon, and this month brought back fan-favorite Strawberry Kiwi. The release doubled as the unveiling of redesigned packaging across the Redd’s Wicked brand, a change made to strengthen its visibility on shelves and in cooler doors.

The new video ads “are a big show of support from the company that when we have a brand with positive momentum, we’ll give it reinforcements to keep it going,” Cirone says. “This campaign is bad ass, and it really resonates with younger legal-drinking age males.”

The Redd’s Wicked franchise is up 1 percent in volume and 1.9 percent in sales dollars in the convenience channel year-to-date through Feb. 3, according to Nielsen. Over the most-recent four weeks, its performance is even better, up 1.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Spots slated for Xbox are expected to begin later in spring. Cirone says the video gaming consoles will provide a critical bridge for the brand to connect with millennial men, “who game like crazy.”