6th October 2021

My Absolut Favourite Advertising Campaign

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Absolut Vodka

Ad Campaign: ‘The Absolut Bottle’

When a campaign makes over 1,500 versions of an ad, you know its originality is in its simplicity. 

The longest running print ad marketing campaign in history.

Absolut Vodka and their marketing campaign has stood the test of time from their very first ad, ‘Absolut Perfection’ 1980.

The now popular and synonymous vodka brand established the template of combining eye-catching visuals with clever copywriting, unlike any other alcohol ad campaign given you won’t find models, parties, bars or clubs, just the product and two words. 

The campaign had the product centre stage and said “Absolut _____.” — this is all that is required.

Every print ad was centered around the bottle and an ever changing line of copy. Some designs featured special editions, such as the one Andy Warhol designed, while others stayed true to the original branding concept. 

Perhaps the most innovative and brilliant examples of this campaign existed in the chunk of ads that opted out of showing a literal bottle at all, but rather referenced it in composition and alternative designs.

  • Absolut -40°
  • Absolut 24th
  • Absolut Achievement
  • Absolut Amsterdam
  • Absolut Beat
  • Absolut Camouflage (You may need to google ‘Camoflage’)
  • Absolut Country 
  • Absolut Etiquette
  • Absolut Festival 
  • Absolut Jazz

(you get the picture – no pun intended)

Needless to say, the versatility of the Absolut Vodka campaign meant it could morph into any scene, trend, or moment of relevance. 

Arguably no other brand has created such a lasting creative idea and brand personality that says ‘I’m stylish and sophisticated’ by those who choose to buy and drink it (ok, ok…I’ll give you Apple).

With the perfect template, Absolut Vodka were able to easily expand their ads to incorporate cities, seasons, and locations. This allowed for targeted advertising; countries started developing their own localised advertisements, and so Absolut Paris, Absolut New York, Absolut London and many more were born.

This meant that the audience felt connected, and when people feel connected they’re happier to purchase from you. That’s how you create a global brand. 

Sometimes a simple marketing campaign can far outshine a complicated and expensive one. 

Absolut Vodka went out of its way to avoid head-to-head comparisons with rival brands. Instead, they had a vision…

“Absolut’s positioning strategy relied on the promise of an entirely new experience”

Gunar Brooman ‘Mr Absolut’ co-owner and creative director.

Absolut Vodka made its bottle the most recognisable bottle in the world. ‘The Absolut Bottle’ campaign, is the longest uninterrupted ad campaign ever and comprises over 1,500 separate ads. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Let me repeat that: Absolut Vodka created 1500 ads from one bottle and one singular idea. 

Be determined, be different, be Absolut.

Absolut Vodka Marketing Success:

A clear brand proposition – closely associated with art and creativity, it was embedded in the brand DNA ever since the first collaboration with Warhol.

A strong idea – “Absolut _____.” so simple it’s easily transferable 

A consistent, clean and simple design — the bottle is the star and is instantly recognisable.

“While the Absolut advertising campaign has many faces, it’s still a singular idea. A big Absolut bottle. A two-word headline starring ‘ABSOLUT’ and finishing with a word that denotes a state of excellence, a mood, a place, a person real or imagined, a powerful linkage to the arts…or anything else I might have forgotten.”

Richard. W. Lewis, Author of Absolut Book.: The Absolut Vodka Advertising Story