Absolut Mixes Up ‘Hunk’ Cocktail

The ‘Absolut Hunk’ subplot in the July 27 episode of HBO’s Sex and the City was the brainchild of a scriptwriter, but it made it to TV with the help of Absolut and lead agency TBWA\ Chiat\Day, New York.

The Omnicom shop created a mock ad that shows actor Jason Lewis naked with his arms behind his head and the iconic bottle placed between his legs. The stud is the boyfriend of PR maven Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), who gets him the gig.

In the episode, the ad appears as a Times Square billboard, a postcard, wild postings and on a bus shelter. It also inspires a cocktail that Jones drinks and deems “delish.”

In keeping with HBO policy, no money changed hands. Absolut was consulted on the use of its brand, but the show maintained creative control, said Absolut events manager Emily Bosco.

Although “Hunk” is unusual in that few ads for the brand show people, Absolut liked the association with the show’s hip, urban audience, said vp, marketing Jim Goodwin. “The show needed a campaign that was familiar—a simple, visual read,” he said. Sex and the City execs could not be reached.

As for the ad, TBWA\C\D group creative director Patrick O’Neill said he was inspired by a Farrah Fawcett swimsuit poster and the Cosmopolitan centerfold of Burt Reynolds from the ’70s.