Absolut Lets Surfers Interact with Bottle

NEW YORK — Against a desert setting, the illusion of an Absolut bottle appears and then disappears in one of three online ads breaking this week from TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York. The headline reads: “Absolut Mirage.”

In a series of Interactive Messaging Units (IMUs), Web surfers can interact with the iconic bottle by manipulating certain elements onscreen. One ad lets users scrub the bottle until it sparkles with the roll of the mouse, which transforms into a sponge. The headline, “Absolut Perfectionist.”

The effort aims to enhance the vodka brand through the digital medium, said Neal Davies, group account director for Absolut at TBWA\C\D. “We feel that the engaging nature of the creative projects a positive brand interaction that can be projected to the marketplace,” explained Davies. “This is a departure from most online campaigns that feel the need to ‘shepherd’ users to said advertiser’s Web site. We feel that a Web site is an important marketing tool, however we can increase the reach and relevancy of the campaign if we export the brand message into a compelling placement.”

The campaign will run on Lycos, Yahoo, The Onion, Playboy.com, Maxim.com, E! Online and CBS Marketwatch, among other sites. It is a continuation of Absolut’s first online branding campaign that broke last August [Adweek, Aug. 6].