Absolut Vodka: Absolutely amazing marketing
A new book, Absolut: Biography of a Bottle, outlines how the story of Absolut vodka is a perfect illustration of the con trick that is modern advertising — the creation of something out of nothing.
Carl Hamilton’s book tells how Absolut was invented back-to-front. First came a trip to Madison Avenue in 1978 to find an image.
Absolut’s image broke the rules. Even its creators thought the clear, stumpy bottle looked like a hospital plasma bag. And its ostentatiously simple, go-anywhere ads (a bottle with a bow-tie, for example, over the slogan “Absolut Elegance”) were at odds with the burnished, regional imagery that sold most booze.
Then came the high-end names. Andy Warhol painted the bottle. Among many celebrity endorsers, Annie Leibovitz photographed Salman Rushdie clutching a burning ad for Absolut.
The drink was an after-thought. Once the makers had an image, they found a white-coated scientist to devise a recipe, which was described on the bottle as being more than 400 years old.
Despite or because of its topsy-turvy birth, Absolut became a world hit. With annual sales of $3-billion, it is America’s largest imported vodka. Besides drinking it, you could use it to explain to Martians what icons are. [French group, Pernod Ricard, bought Absolut Vodka for €5.63-biillion in 2008].
Hamilton, a Swedish journalist, gives an inside glimpse into the business of imagemaking. He describes the bruised egos, the failed ideas and the sometimes less than gripping serendipity of product placement: Absolut turned up in a James Bond film because a friend of the firm knew Roger Moore.
In too many places the book manages to be both breathless and over-detailed. Unless you work in advertising or are a close student of state liquor monopolies, much of the detail will be skippable. Nor does Hamilton draw general lessons. “Absolut” is best taken quick and neat, as a campaign diary of the ad game at its most inventive.
Source: The Economist
Absolut Vodka marketing mix
The Sweden State started this Vodka from scratch in 1876 not only to sell it later but to leverage the world with access to premium Vodka. It has not only quenched the thirst but it has introduced people to a unique lifestyle….
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