Absolut ad builds on artistic heritage

Vodka brand Absolut is today launching a new cross-platform ad campaign building on its history of identifying itself through creative collaborations with young artists.

The Absolut Blank campaign uses 18 emerging artists from across the globe, who work in various disciplines, to construct a work of art on an empty canvas cut to match the Pernod Ricard brand's familiar bottle shape.

Works created include collage imagery from Mario Wagner, colourful graphic design by Aesthetic Apparatus, paintings by Kinsey and mural work by artistic group Good Wives and Warriors.

The ads, which launch today across Facebook, feature footage of seven artists constructing their works.

Behind the scenes footage will be added to the Facebook page from tomorrow. The ads will then be shown on television in the UK from 20 July across ITV, 4, Five and Sky channels.

The TV slots will be followed by a digital campaign covering search, pre-rolls, MPUs and a number of homepage takeovers.

Absolut also said it had planned a major outdoor campaign across the UK with live outdoor and experiential work.

All activity will drive consumers to the new UK Facebook page.

The ads build on the Swedish brand’s long association with artists. It has previously worked with Andy Warhol and most recently with filmmaker Spike Jonze.

The new campaign is the result of a creative partnership between Absolut and TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York that launches today in the UK and at a later date in other countries yet to be confirmed.

Absolut said earlier this month it would look to forge greater links with music, art and film after hiring a new marketing manager and overhauling its PR roster.

The brand appointed John Doe as its consumer PR agency in the UK following a competitive pitch. It had used Paget Baker for consumer support for the past seven years.

John Doe is now charged with developing and supporting a series of collaborations within the art, music and fashion world and promoting forthcoming new products.

The agency switch follows the appointment of Adam Boita as UK marketing manager. Boita joined the drinks brand in March this year from Sony Computer Entertainment, where he was UK marketing manager.

Weber Shandwick also works with Absolut supporting the brand's trade PR in the UK.

Absolut Vodka claims to be "the world's brand of premium vodka" with more than 10 million nine-litre cases sold in 2008/2009, up from just 10,000 when it was launched in New York in 1979. Every bottle of Absolut is produced in Ahus, in southern Sweden.

Since it was first bottled more than 30 years ago, Absolut has run a number of creative initiatives.

Warhol painted the first art ad for the brand and today the Absolut Art Collection comprises more than 800 pieces by artists including Damien Hirst.

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