Absolut Begins ‘Vanilia’ Interactive Ad Push

Swedish vodka manufacturer Absolut on Tuesday launched a new interactive campaign for its latest flavor, Absolut Vanilia.

The interactive campaign is heavy with rich media and carries the tagline “A Different Kind of Vanilla.” The ads will run on a variety of sites, including Maxim.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, style.com and Wired.com.

The campaign was announced earlier this month, when Absolut readied the re-launch of its site. Print ads followed the site’s debut.

The decision to push the product on the Internet before print was to build chatter about the brand among it core audience of young adults, according to Michael Persson, Absolut’s director of communications.

As such, the ads employ rich media, including Flash 6.0 and Point.roll technology. The Absolut site is now available only to those with a broadband connection, in an effort to maintain the brand experience.

The ads are designed to mimic the company’s trademark print ads, which feature the Absolut bottle prominently with a pithy two-word slogan.

“Together with the print ads and the new version of www.absolut.com, this interactive campaign will provide an integrated force that will enable individuals to truly understand the character of this new, unique vodka,” said Eva Kempe-Forsberg.

The online ads seek to establish the new flavored vodka’s bone fides to the male audience. In the ads, the Absolut bottle smashes everything from wooden spoons to steel walls to ice cream cones. In addition to Maxim.com, the campaign has ads running on sites like RollingStone.com and TheOnion.com.

The campaign will roll out four different ads over the next three months. The first ads will be “Absolut Extract,” featuring a floating Absolut bottle, and Asbsolut Heavyweight, which has an ice cream machine that viewers can use to eventually make an Absolut bottle appear. The ads will run until the end of May

In the beginning of May, the company will roll out “Absolut Breakthrough” and “Absolut Persistence” — both of which encourage user interaction with the trademark vodka bottle.

Absolut only began running online ads in August 2001, making a point of the limits of the banner with a static ad bearing crammed-together copy “Absolut Limitation.”

Since then, the company has experimented with larger ad units and more interactive creative approaches, such as its “Absolut Director,” “Absolute Stella” and “Absolut Album Covers” campaigns.

The company said its research shows about 20 percent of users interact with its rich media units, with 50 percent engaging ads during a recent campaign in December.

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