Sunday, February 25, 2007

Describing Style

Absolut vodka ad design is unmistakable. Absolut ads always feature a bottle, or shape of a bottle of Absolut as the vehicle for a concept. The bottle shape is integrated with a different environment or idea; for example, Absolut Adirondacks or Absolut Americana.

The product is always central to the ad, but each design has a different idea associated with it.
The design of Absolut ads very closely reflects the product. In fact, the words I would use to describe the product would also describe the design – pure, innovative, distinguishable, and refreshing come to mind.

This clever ad campaign was created in response to Absolut’s directive that “all advertising should center around the bottle, the product should not be identified with any particular lifestyle and the approach should have a timeless yet contemporary feel to it.” The Absolut design, in fact, does not try to appeal to a particular lifestyle; no assumptions are made by the consumer that if they drink Absolut, they will be like a person featured in the ad or that they will have the possessions of the person who drinks Absolut. That is not what this design is about. This design is clever and interesting. Perhaps the viewer could make the assumption that they will be considered clever and interesting if they consume this product…

When a design is as distinguishable as the Absolut ads, it’s not difficult to spoof the design. In fact, the Absolut vodka official website has a whole section that displays spoof ads.

And another independent site has a few.

Absolut really hit the target on branding and standing out among other vodka ads. With its minimalist approach,they can carry this design into so many feelings, thoughts and subjects. Compared to Grey Goose (which happens to be my vodka of preference), Absolut ads are much more memorable and viewers are likely to remember the product behind the design.
Just compare the two designs side by side -- Grey Goose has too much text and before finding this ad on a website, I wouldn't have been able to describe any of their ads. Absolut - no problem.


Sandra Lavini said...

Hi! You did a great job on this blog on Absolut. I liked the links to their gallery and the spoofs. Sandra Lavini

Catherine R. said...

Thanks Sandra! Blogging about it made me thirsty too... :-)

Poets Online said...

so then is their campaign a failure since you still prefer the Goose vodka?

Catherine R. said...

No, I can't say it's a failure just because I'm not drinking it...

Absolut still accounts for about 50% of the vodka imports into the US. They're also spending 2-3x what others do on advertising, but they've become part of pop culture.

But, Grey Goose, for the past 7 years, has an average growth rate of over 100%. Last year they increased by 92% over last year, so that's actually a decline.

Absolut's purchasers are only 40% female and they tend to be between the ages of 25-40. Perhaps as I'm nearing 40, I've moved on.... ;-)

Catherine R. said...

If interested, there's much more on the vodka market here