Absolut Vodka shakes up creative executions with new agency partner


After four years with BBH, Absolut Vodka has moved its global creative account to Ogilvy, where the agency will be tasked to create global strategic and creative duties for the brand, focusing on its lead market priorities, with the ambition to accelerate its leadership position. The pitch was led by Tad Greenough, Absolut’s Global chief creative officer, with support from Observatory International, based in London. The agency was awarded the business after a competitive pitch with an undisclosed roster of global agencies.

The Swedish vodka is recognised as a leading premium vodka brand, associated with promoting progressive values since its inception in 1879. By applying its one source, one community approach, Absolut emphasises its origin and close connection to the area that surrounds the distillery, which is one of the world's most energy efficient.  An important part of Absolut Vodka's strong heritage is also the brand's creative advertising, through decades of collaborations with fashion designers and artists including Jean-Paul Gaultier, Andy Warhol, Tom Ford, Keith Haring, Stella McCartney and Anne Imhof.

Late last year, working with BBH Singapore, Absolut launched a new global campaign "It's in our spirit", which narrated the anticipation to a time when being #togetherIRL (in real life) is safe again, as well as remind Gen Z and Millennials that no matter how popular you are online, nothing can replace real human connections. Created in collaboration with BBH Singapore, the campaign is kickstarted with a two-minute film that features four protagonists: Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai, American actress Tessa Thompson, British musician MNEK, and online gaming personality Ricki Ortiz. According to a press release, these four talents were chosen as each of them are change-makers and outspoken representatives of their communities. 

Sharing on the current appointment with Ogilvy, Greenough said: “Absolut has an incredible legacy of creating extraordinary and unexpected communications, of being a cultural provocateur. As the brand continues to see tremendous momentum globally, we wanted a network partner that can deliver the strategic and creative excellence that Ogilvy has demonstrated time and time again.”

Charl Bassil, global vice president marketing at The Absolut Company, added: “We at Absolut are delighted to announce that Ogilvy has been appointed as our global agency network. This is a such an important appointment for us and a signal of our intent to work alongside our global markets in a more coordinated and integrated manner, while continuing to tap into locally relevant consumer insights.”

He added that at The Absolut Company, the team fundamentally believes that agency partnerships are more effective than transactional supplier relationships. He said, “We know that through genuine partnership, we are able to build open, transparent relationships that include a shared view of success and shared accountability. Ultimately Absolut has been built on the idea that we can create better together. With that in mind, we believe we have found the right partner in Ogilvy.”

This news follows the recent announcement that Ogilvy was selected by Pernod Ricard USA to serve as the lead creative agency for Olmeca Altos Tequila, Tequila Avión, and Del Maguey.

Andy Main, Ogilvy’s global CEO, said: “Ogilvy is proud to be chosen by Absolut, a globally iconic brand, to be their creative partner for growth. We admire Absolut’s strong heritage of using creativity to drive meaningful connections and influence culture. Our team is excited to use the borderless creativity of Ogilvy’s global network to deliver the innovative work that will win the attention of people around the world.”