'Absolut World' Debuts

NEW YORK TBWAChiatDay’s new campaign for Absolut revolves around a fantastic world in which men get pregnant, soap bubbles flow from smokestacks, art hangs in Times Square and protesters fight with pillows.

The “In an Absolut world” campaign includes four TV spots, print, Web and outdoor ads and guerrilla marketing. The estimated $45 million global effort breaks today and replaces the short-lived “The Absolut vodka” campaign that began in January 2006.

Previous ads likened Absolut to genuine icons such as the Statue of Liberty, Steve McQueen and CBGB. The new ads are decidedly optimistic and cheeky. In a spot called “Protest” a tense clash between protestors and police officers erupts into a pillow fight.

In a print ad, art replaces flashy billboards in Times Square; in another, bar patrons wear buttons stating their dating status and mind-set. Guerrilla efforts will include offering free rickshaw rides, Metro cards and music downloads in different neighborhoods of New York.

“It’s not necessarily about perfection, but about making the world better by seeing it with fresh eyes,” said Rob Smiley, creative director at Omnicom Group’s TBWACD in New York. “You can expect commentary on topics and ideas big and small, serious and humorous, timeless and of the moment.”

Said Tim Murphy, senior brand director at the Absolut Spirits Co. here: “Our consumers are intelligent and we hope they have a gut reaction that sparks conversations and challenges them to think about their vision of an ‘Absolut world.'”

In the U.S., the first TV spot breaks May 14, and the initial print ads will appear in June editions of magazines such as Details, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone.

The international component of the campaign, which launches today in Germany with a TV spot called “Disco Moon,” will eventually extend to a dozen markets. TBWAParis produced “Disco Moon” and other ads that will run outside the U.S.