BrandWorking in advertising for so many years has taught me many valuable lessons about the world. One of the simplest yet significantly important is… BRANDS RULE, and BIG BRANDS EVEN BETTER! For example, an ad agency might have Southwest Airlines as a client, but will drop them like a rock to have American Airlines on their roster. Same pond, bigger fish.

With big brands you have bigger budgets and more opportunities to create work. Those opportunities also get bigger (Super Bowl ads/commercials, Times Square billboards, consumer pubs) and ultimately result in more exposure not just for the brand, but for the agency as well. To remain in that spotlight agencies have to consistently one-up themselves creatively, and what everyone else is doing out there, even if the other big brands are in different product categories. 

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You are seeing this all the time, even if you don’t realize it. Elements of successful advertising campaigns are used, adjusted, recycled, repackaged and sent out into the world. Think Old Spice Guy and Zesty Salad Dressing Guy. Different shirtless guy, different campaign, different product, but conceptually no question that Zesty Guy is a “version” of Old Spice Guy. Point here, if it works, keep working it – which brings me to Absolut’s Originality campaign.

In 2012, Absolute launched their “Absolut Unique” campaign in which their machines were retooled from ensuring every glass bottle produced was exactly the same to ensuring each one was uniquely different. They added splash guns and color-generating machines and developed and algorithm to eventually create 4 million “Unique” bottles. Successful campaign, good exposure, adjust, recycle and repackage concept, turn the calendar to November 2013, and “Absolute Originality” is launched in Europe.

Absolut-originalityIn Absolut Originality, WE are the creators of the bottle, not the machines. Through a very inventive (though hoop jumping) experience, we are permitted to virtually add a drop of cobalt blue into the hot glass as it is forming Absoluts’ signature bottle. This will create what they are calling “a one-of-a-kind piece of art.” Your bottle  is numbered, applied to you and 4 million will be manufactured. The cross media campaign for this effort has almost as many channels!

Besides the print, and social media tie-ins (you have to LIKE Absolut on FB, tell three friends about the promo on Facebook to get more drops – and I stopped there) this time they have added NFC to posters in pubs. Tap your phone, go through the social stuff, and add your drop from the barstool you are drinking your Absolut Martini from. It’s interesting that the posters they are showing in the campaign promos are BACKLIT – I haven’t seen NFC on that before (video here). But that is just the start, the real magic comes from the in-store displays and the cross media promotion done from the retail side.

Absolut_NFC_printmediacentrThis is from Absolut Originality debuts in Europe by Doug Newhouse

<<INTERACTIVE PROMOTION

It adds that when targeting digitally-savvy travellers, the Absolut Originality campaign in the Nuance store in Stockholm Arlanda Airport (Absolut’s ‘home airport’), also offers a unique experiential digital platform. Here, passengers have been invited to try their hand at creating a one-off ‘Spin Artwork’ design which doubles as a certificate of purchase in store.

The company adds that this bespoke unit gives travellers the opportunity to be creative and share their work digitally on social media sites through integrated iPads. The poster gift-with-purchase features the shopper’s name and individual original bottle number. 

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Libby Wilding, Assistant Brand Manager, Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe said: “Absolut Originality is yet another exceptional end-of-year product from Absolut and the chance to provide similarly exceptional in-store experiences for our consumers. Showcasing the creativity and innovation behind the brand, this disruptive campaign will engage travellers with the brand in new ways.”

In addition to its presence at Stockholm Arlanda Airport,  Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe will be activating the Absolut Originality campaign at the following airports between now and 13 December, 2013: Frankfurt (Heinemann); London Gatwick South (World Duty Free); Nice (Aelia); Paris Orly South (SDA); Schiphol (Schiphol Retail); and Venice (Airest).>>

Absolut is a BIG BRAND, one of the biggest and consistently creative, even if they recycle and reuse their own concepts. The better news is that in the spirit of keeping up with the Joneses, cross media campaigns like this that touch almost EVERY channel out there will become more common, and PRINT is centered as the launch point for it. For a few years Ive been going on about NFC and Im excited a brand like Absolut is using the tech and promoting it – as well as print! As a matter of fact, one thing they haven’t skimped on here is Print – they are even offering it as a GIFT!

It’s too early to have a drink, but my iced-coffee toast of the day goes Originality, and the hope 4 million new original versions follow – Cheers!

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