Absolut Vodka has been supporting the LGBT community since 1979 – it was one of the first major brands to advertise within the LGBT press when others wouldn’t. Since then, it has continued to champion equality over the next 30 years through advertising, experiences and limited edition bottles.
While older drinkers may still remember Absolut’s rich heritage in supporting equality, younger millennials are not aware that they were one of the first brands to support these issues.
In 1977, artist Gilbert Baker channelled his message of solidarity, love and respect for diversity through the rainbow flag he designed. Ever since, this flag has not only been an important symbol of the LGBT movement, but also one that has represented colourful celebrations, massive parties and liberated minds, much like Absolut. In 2008, Gibert Baker collaborated with Absolut to create the Colors bottle. In 2015, this bottle was re-released.
Absolut needed to set itself apart from the crowd though, using the opportunity to make a true statement, to differentiate itself from other brands and re-establish themselves as true pioneers. It wanted to build credibility around LGBT rights with a younger, millennial audience who may not be aware of the brand’s previous association with the LGBT community.
We collaborated with Absolut’s above-the-line agency, Sid Lee, and digital asset production agency, Great Works, to create extensive content for a digital and social media campaign declaring that #LoveIsLove.
Alongside launch content, we wanted to highlight the limited edition bottle and celebrate Pride events taking place around the world. We wanted to show the incredible colour, positivity and togetherness expressed through the product and at the events, sharing them with Absolut’s audience through engaging content.
We teamed up with influential Instagrammers located in 11 major Pride cities – including New York, Barcelona and London – and asked them to share their experiences through their content. They posted their view of each event, which Absolut then re-grammed, creating a rich array of content from around the globe.
To support this activity, we created a calendar of always-on social media content, which was posted and promoted through Absolut’s social media channels. This content was focused on Absolut’s key conversation pillars of drinks, nightlife and creative expression.
Perhaps the most critical element of this content was context. We made sure Absolut were one of the first brands to celebrate and congratulate both the US and Ireland in their landmark decisions to legalise gay marriage. This led to articles on The Drum, Metro and Adweek among others, with Absolut featuring as one of the central brands in the celebrations.
In total, video content from the campaign received over four million views across Facebook and YouTube. Absolut’s Instagram activation saw 198k interactions, while influencers had a combined reach of over 4 million, producing over 60 images with an average of 8k interactions on each. As a result, Absolut’s profile saw an increase of 5k fans.
Overall, all content had a social reach of over 16 million – helping drive key awareness of Absolut’s support of the LGBT community. In addition to this there were 385k interactions with the brand and content during the Pride celebrations.
This also received industry recognition winning a Brand Republic Digital Award.