Absolut Vanilia Debuts Online

NEW YORK Absolut is introducing its newest vodka flavor in four years, Absolut Vanilia, on the Internet. The online push, which coincides with the launch of the latest version of the Absolut brand Web site, will be followed by a print campaign later this month.

This is the first time Absolut is using the Web as a leading channel for the debut of a new flavor. “It’s a possibility to reach our most loyal consumers,” said Michael Persson, director of marketing communications for the Stockholm, Sweden-based spirits marketer. “It’s an opportunity for people who want to get information about it to be in the know.”

The Absolut Vanilia microsite, accessible from www.absolut.com, features narrative films that follow the evening escapades of a group of friends. It also includes a “drink mixer,” which advises people on how to make a smooth, sour, dry or sweet cocktail, and a “pick-up line generator” that offers conversation starters like, “Was it love at first sight or should I walk by again?” or “Hey I’m shy. Can you do the rest of the talking?”

The site was developed by Springtime, a Stockholm-based design agency. Stockholm Web shops pixShift and Projector assisted Springtime with the creation and production of Absolut.com and the Absolut Vanilia microsite, respectively.

The print campaign, due to launch in mid-March, uses images to communicate that Absolut Vanilia is “A different kind of Vanilia.” In one execution, for instance, the iconic bottle smashes an ice cream cone. Copy reads, “Absolut Heavyweight.” Another carries the headline “Absolut Persistence,” and shows wooden spoons trying fruitlessly to dig into the bottle.

Online ads, set to run from April to early June on Web sites like Epicurious, InStyle, Hollywood.com and Gay.com, will add an element of interactivity to the print executions. “We want to entertain the consumer when they are online,” said Persson, adding that the goal of the interactive ads isn’t necessarily to drive people to the Absolut Web site, but to build the brand. The print and interactive ads were crafted by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York.

The Absolut brand site, which also relaunched this week, uses music, short films, games and other online tools to highlight the brand’s traditions, campaigns and recent events. Absolut Display, for instance, features a rolling series of trailers on Absolut’s latest marketing endeavors. Absolut Reality contains recipes for cosmopolitans, vodkatinis and other cocktails, so users can explore the six different vodka flavors.

The Web site, which uses Flash 6 technology, targets youth-minded, outgoing, trend-conscious, open-minded people, as well as those who are interested in the latest technology, said Persson.