4. Absolut Execution

9 Oct

Anyone who is not living under a rock has seen Absolut Vodka print ads for themselves. The universal design is often found in nationally distributed fashion magazines, combining art and the product in a complimentary – and often high culture – manner. Absolut campaigns have been commended in the past for their easily-recognizable creative and minimalist message. The brand has been said to have revolutionized alcohol advertisements.

photo cred. absolut.intheunknown.net

However, such trendy ad efforts for a regulated product can pose significant problems if not executed in the correct way. Alcoholic brands are required to abide by national and state regulations regarding target advertising and audience specifications. For example, certain states prohibit images of children in alcohol advertisements and statements that encourage intoxication. Oregon statutes require that a majority percentage of a publication’s readership (in which the alcohol brand might advertise) be older than 21 years of age. Adbusters created quite a buzz earlier this year when they posted a spoof ad in response to Absolut’s campaign.

Adbusters Absolut End

In addition to instigating problems for the brand management team at Absolut, spoofs like this one create a political agenda for companies that partake in established, regulated industries. What did Absolut, specifically, do to deserve being targeted this way? How can the brand counter-campaign for their brand efforts to conform to the alcohol industry’s standards and prove their commitment to social responsibility? I believe that a clever response to these spoofs might add even more oomph to Absolut’s advertising repertoire.


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