Absolut Vodka was launched in NYC in 1979 and became a huge part of the American culture - embracing artists like Andy Warhol along the way.
Their iconic print campaign was actually outsourced to the media it ran in. When companies came to discuss how many pages their magazine should receive in the coming year they arrived with creative ideas in hand. As a result the campaign remained fresh and interesting for years.
I even remember a cousin telling me that at his university it was cool to collect the ads and display them on your dorm room walls. Can you imagine that? A pre-Internet viral campaign!
Sales surged from 10,000 cases in 1980 to nearly 5 million by 2000. (Gianatasio, 2015)
But nothing lasts forever and somewhere along the way Absolut lost their cool. So, I was fascinated to read that they are now actively trying to retrieve it.
They have chosen to begin by reintroducing themselves to NYC with a neighborhood tailored Out-of-Home campaign, meant to speak to New Yorkers. This billboard near the High Line certainly succeeds.
Billboards have also gone up in Hell's Kitchen, the Lower East Side, Chelsea and Midtown East. Additional campaign elements will roll out later this year. (Monllos, 2017)
So what do you think? Is the timing right for a come back? Why or why not? Is NYC the right place to do it? What generation are they trying to reach? How does their approach demonstrate that? Do you think they will be able to connect emotionally with their target? How? Can they become cool again?
Gianatasio, D. (2015, September 28) How Blending Art and Commerce Drove Absolut Vodka's Legendary Campaigns. adweek.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from
Monllos, K. (2017, November 13) Absolut Reintroduces Itself to New Yorkers With Out-of-Home Work Tailored to the Neighborhood. adweek.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from