We started working with Absolut at the end of 2016 and their brief was simple: Relaunch our iconic brand for a new generation. Absolut’s ambition was to become the number one spirits brand in the world, and the most talked-about online. The US accounts for 50% of total global sales, making it the most important market by a mile. With sales volume slipping, Absolut had been edged out of a competitive category. A turnaround in US sales became the top priority, but it looked like an uphill climb. Absolut used to be an iconic brand – but by 2016, after years of silence, they’d fallen off the map. Everybody knew Absolut, but nobody loved them. Our relaunch strategy was positioned around the two fronts of the vodka industry: brand and liquid.
To build the brand, we resurfaced the things that once made Absolut iconic and reinvented them in fresh, new ways that tap into the passion points of this generation. Absolut is a liberal Swedish brand, they have a history of progressive thinking, as well as a history of creativity, working with major names from Warhol to Deadmau5. They have a long held belief that creativity can change the world, a thought now that is more relevant than ever.
We launched the ‘Create a Better tomorrow, Tonight’ brand campaign with a bang. A big bang. A film directed by Hollywood Director Chivo, that celebrates moments of creativity through history, from day 1 to now, that have made the world a better place. We collaborated with a suite of contemporary artists for our global poster executions, giving each of them our iconic bottle as a blank canvas for them to express their vision of a better tomorrow.
Having established our new positioning, we moved on to a specific ‘better tomorrow’ issue. One that unites Absolut and this generation in passionate support; LGBTQI+. We released the film ‘Equal love’ around the world. This emerged from the core belief that all humans should be free to love whomever they choose - but it was more than an LGBTQ+ campaign. We ensured that the kisses in the film spanned a broad spectrum of society, transcending sexual preference, gender, age, race and religion. As such, the campaign also reflects Absolut’s wider values of diversity, equality and inclusion – and the use of creativity to champion them.
We also activated the campaign in the UK with a rainbow branded bottle, released in time for London pride as well as station takeovers, and a more daring provocation. On the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we showed our support for the people in the 72 countries around the world where it is illegal to be gay. We invited people from those countries to ‘Kiss with Pride’ in a series of striking images which we used in OOH spots around the UK, newspaper wraps and we even displayed them as an exhibition in the houses of parliament. We amplified the idea with a snapchat filter, and donated money to Stonewall every time it was used.
1. The film itself garnered 1,742,324 YouTube views.*
2. The potential reach based on all social, PR and media partnerships was 32,179,300.
3. Social reach was 63% organic, with a 67% completion rate.
1. 29 PR pieces (predominantly online and social – lead times were too short for most print) were 100% positive in sentiment - but a lot of the coverage came from trade press.
2. Social media sentiment was 73% positive (27% negative - neutral??)
3. Following its positive reception, Absolut USA also picked up the film.
Absolut - Kiss with Pride / Equal Love
We started working with Absolut at the end of 2016 and their brief was simple: Relaunch our iconic brand for a new generation. Absolut’s ambition was to become the number one spirits brand in the world, and the most talked-about online.