In a startlingly grey matter-challenged marketing decision, Absolut vodka declares that “in an Absolut world” California, Texas and a whole bunch of other states belong to Mexico. (Including half of my home state of Oregon.) We are not amused.
Smooth move, Absolut
Don’t worry, I’m not about to start getting political in this blog. Politics just brings out the worst in people. (You don’t need me to tell you that, just watch the election coverage on any news network.)
The thing about this ad that should get someone fired in the Absolut marketing department is that they put their brand in a very sensitive area of conflict between two nations full of proud people. An ad like this makes as much sense as sticking your nose into a friend’s family argument. No matter who you side with, no matter how much sense you may or may not make, you will wind up the villian.
Or maybe it’s someone in Absolut management that should be fired. They approved this ad. Maybe they though that since this ad was only appearing in Mexico, it couldn’t possibly cause offense here in the U.S. Clearly they forgot we are in a 24 hour, instant messaging world. If Britney Spears sneezes in Hollywood, fans in Bangalore, India know about it before she finishes wiping her nose.
Of course, Absolut will learn nothing from this gaff if customers don’t hold them accountable for it. I plan to reward Absolut by making martinis with competing vodkas going forward. (That isn’t a hollow threat, Absolut was my vodka of choice.) I know what you’re thinking, even bad publicity is good advertising. Losing my business is small potatoes compared to the business this will bring in. Well, that may be true, but is this post still good advertising for them if I…
…Give you a list of good Vodka alternatives? (Yeah, I know, I’m evil. To the core.) According to The Independent, the following are the ten best Vodkas out there:
- Snow Queen
- 42 Below
- Grey Goose
Notice one name that doesn’t appear in that list? (Check out the original article, I didn’t edit the list!) This is a fantastic opportunity to discover a new vodka, and take your drinks to a new level. (Pun accidental, but I’ll take it.) Just look at that, a rant that turned semi-educational.
UPDATE 1: Absolut has since offered an apology-that-isn’t-an-apology for the the ad. What are they they’re sorry for? That people were dumb enough to be offended, not that the ad was run in the first place. Swing and a miss, Absolut.
UPDATE 2: Skyy vodka puts out a comical press release in support of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and condemning Absolut for their ad. Home run Skyy! While Absolut should probably fire both their PR and marketing departments, Skyy vodka should give their departments a raise!