Absolut Nationalism

Note to self: Only approve creative that offends people in the countries that either don't import your product or don't have the internets and photoshops.

In Mexico, Absolut is running a print and a billboard that shows Mexico with borders from the early 1800s as part of its In An Absolut World campaign. LA Times blogs about it; pissed off readers create their own version of an ideal world:

Absolut responds on the campaign blog (742 comments to date): "As a global company, we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market. Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the US -- that ad might have been very different."

As one of the commenters on the blog points out, Absolut sales by country in 2007 were 50% for the US, 3% for Mexico.

This is fun. The creative is gonna be a hit on the Balkans where every country dreams of a "Greater" (and historically accurate) version of itself. A good place to start is Serbia that just lost Kosovo. Here, let me help: Greater Bulgaria, Greater Albania, Greater Macedonia, Greater Serbia, Greater Romania, Greater Croatia.

Kinda like this Smart billboard from South Africa boasting how there's nothing American about the car.

Local Billboards and Global Information


  1. Why people are getting upset over this? Vodka ads are not meant to be taken seriously anyways… or perhaps I should drink Mikes Hard Lemonade and check my garage for a Ferrari, then bedroom for a hottie… and if they are not there, cry and moan about it on the internet. Let’s move on people, there are more important things to waste breath (bandwidth) on.

  2. Controversial only when you put them together - good for the brand image if you ask me but individually, what the hell. Vodka with a positioning like Absolut shouldn't go there. It's something you'd expect from beer in Mexico, not Absolut, anywhere in the world. The Absolut World should be anywhere but on Earth. In our heads and not in that way...

    And as for the Balkans, I don't think the countries would be very much pleased to see this sort of 'greater' thing. From a very historical point of view, it's a touchy subject.


I am moderating all comments to weed out spam (there's a lot of it). Comments are usually approved within a day.

Related Posts with Thumbnails