Branding is a necessity in today’s dog-eat-dog world; consumerism and the capitalist mindset breed branding and advertising. And don’t lie and say you never buy a product just because of the ads. Have you ever eaten at McDonald’s? Tell me it wasn’t because of that cool yellow arch! You see that yellow and it almost demands that you eat a hamburger with moderately questionable meat inside.
Despite the digression, branding in advertising is what every marketing company desires for their products. It works, and executives are constantly trying to come up with the “next best thing” in advertising. Anytime you see that nerdy guy with glasses say, “Can you hear me now? Good,” you think of Verizon. Those ads haven’t been around in almost ten years, but they still resonate.
Making yourself known for something is a natural part of human existence, and marketing companies know this. They want you familiarized with their product, understanding what you are buying the minute you see an ad for your favorite beverage or candy bar or whatever.
One of the most memorable, consistent, effective ad campaigns is for Absolut Vodka. You see those ads in a magazine and you immediately know what the ad is about.
Success Is Simple
Unlike the flashy commercials by many car companies, which are always over-the-top and usually quite forgettable, Absolut vodka has taken a simple concept and branded it effectively. Whoever is churning out those classic picture ads is doing a great job, because you can immediately recognize the product just by the font and style of the picture.
In fact, many other incredibly successful companies are venturing towards the “simple is better” approach now, even though Absolut started their ad campaign nearly 20 years ago. Back in the ’80s, when the Absolut ads started popping up everywhere, they were already iconic. Now, after 20 years have passed, the classic Absolut (insert-clever-pun-here) style is synonymous with the company. That is effective branding!
Success Spans Cultures
Outside of the great simplicity of the Absolut ad campaign, the company has also focused on bridging cultural gaps with its campaigns. Unlike the crappy car commercials that are as forgettable as a boring college lecture, the Absolut brand is memorable. You can bet that, out of the thousands of ads, one of them has resonated with some part of your history, culture, family or interests.
Absolut has managed to find a marketing device that works anywhere, in any setting, with almost any group. Now, that is effective marketing! Just think if you could pull that off with something simple, like the clothes you wear. We would all be famous, rolling in the cash, and sporting our own sleek, stylish reality TV series. Well, not all of us maybe, but we can all agree that Absolut makes you feel awesome when you find an ad that speaks to you. Either that or you just really love vodka.
Success Is Creative
Many other companies have tried to incorporate the arts and icons to enhance advertising. Sometimes it works great, like with many Pepsi or Coca-Cola ads. Everyone remembers the Mean Joe Green Coke commercial years back. If you don’t, look it up. It’s amazing.
Even if you were one of the younger generations who missed Mean Joe giving that kid his very rare smile, you probably can think of a number of other ads that utilized icons to sell their product. Well, Absolut has taken that concept to the next level. They one-upped the entire marketing industry.
Absolut, from the induction of its ad campaign, has gone out of its way to recruit artists, musicians, comedians, and actors to help establish a brand that is both recognizable and hip. You know you have game with advertising when you recruit funnyman Zach Galifianakis to headline an entire commercial.
Not only has Absolut vodka dominated in icon recruiting, but they have managed to establish a near cult following of ad collectors. When you are selling a very simple product like vodka, establishing yourself as “the” vodka to have because of icons, artists, and musicians who are a part of that ad campaign is brilliant. In fact, it is so effective that many people, or some might consider fanatics, scour the Web looking for Absolut ads to collect.
Some people would pay a hefty chunk of change for an Absolut ad. There are even entire fan websites dedicated to collecting and selling Absolut ads. The 20-year run of ads have created a worldwide recognition of the Absolut brand name, which is what marketing and branding is all about.
Success Is Just…Awesome
You can analyze the Absolut ads to death, but in reality, Absolut made vodka cool, hip, and trendy. They established themselves as the only vodka to buy. They have an amazing website with loads of recipes. They have a coalition of ad collectors that look like a small cult following. Those cult followers may even trump Twilighters in passion and ridiculousness.
Above all of those things, when you see that classic, simple bottle of clear liquid and the iconic “Absolut ______.” you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite vodka-based drink and revel in how cool that last ad was that you saw. Now, that is the best marketing around. Take that, McDonalds.