Absolut Vodka - Absolut [Something] (1979)
Why We Love Absolut [Something]
A. It stayed flexible
The fact that Absolut [Something] is a two word slogan with a variable noun is what gives its ability to chameleonize into essentially any emotion, concept, or vision. This core idea is what allowed it to partner with so many different genres of creativity over the last 30 years.
B. It was "always on"
The Absolut bottles over the years have morphed into reflections of modern art, culture, politics, and beyond. Whatever the trending situation, the ads became a part of the conversation.
C. It had absolute reach
The bottle cast a wide net across cultures, there was essentially no market it couldn’t touch. ABSOLUT is the third largest brand of alcoholic spirits in the world after Bacardi and Smirnoff, and is sold in 126 countries. Want to court your NYC hipsters? ABSOLUT BROOKLYN. Want every Christmas party to serve Absolut cocktails? “Absolut 24th.” Absolut even got into social activism, as shown in their “Absolut Rainbow” ad in 2009, in celebration of 40 years of gay pride. Absolut bottles echoed more aspects of human culture than other ad campaign in history.
What We Can Learn From Absolut [Something]
1. Images are powerful
The Absolut images serve an example of ads that appeal to our brain’s desire to acquire information. The illustrations are often outlines of ABSOLUT’s distinctive bottle shape, and usually require the viewer to study the ad for a second to see a pattern emerge. The ads often are visual puns of some sort, as well. The campaign was well-targeted to the way the human brain processes information. Whether the viewer was a vodka drinker or not, the nature of the images invited curiosity – difficult to glance past without taking a second look.
2. Adaptation is key to relevancy
The Absolut vodka campaign teaches as that a brand needs to adapt to live. Absolut was so successfull because it was able to stay relevant for many years, though shifting trends and times. Staying aware of what the people are saying — and saying it back to them — is key to producing work that is part of the conversation.
3. Evolution is essential
Today, Absolut has even taken on the realm of experiential marketing. Instead of commissioning something static, like a print ad or YouTube video, the vodka maker asks artists to create experiences – staying with their tradition of commissioning creative minds. Leveraging their already strong connection to nightlife, ABSOLUT selects artists to curate club-like events – that served Absolut Vodka drinks of course – and having a lasting impression on their audiences.
Back to the Start
A limited edition Andy Warhol bottle is issued to commemorate the artist's history with the brand
Absolut Vodka is selling 4.5 million cases in the U.S., thanks in no small part to its iconic ads
Andy Warhol's first ad for the campaign appears in the U.S. magazines
Absolut vodka is selling 10K cases a year in the U.S.
Nice to Meet You
Crillon Importers introduces Absolut Vodka to the U.S. market
A Vodka Is Born
The brand is launched by Lars Olsson Smith in Sweden