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Rhetorics of Absolut Vodka

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In an ever changing consumer driven world where millions of dollars are spent in advertising and advertising research, one brand and its campaign has stood the test of time. While never changing the general image or message, it has maintained relevance through cultural, locality, and artistic symbolism, until recently. In a chance where you can see the silhouette of the product, the product itself, or the gradient lighting with two words underneath, you may already know what you are looking at. Absolut Vodka has used wit and imagination to convey messages that relate to just about anyone, making their product just that; a product for everyone.

Whether you enjoy the occasional drink, only order cranberry or water out at the bar, or aren't a part of that scene at all, you more than likely have seen enough Absolut Vodka ads to know what the bottle looks like; more so the shape of the bottle. Their campaign has been going nonstop since 1981, which is forever in advertising years. The industry has called it one of the most successful campaigns in the history of advertising. You will usually find their ads in magazines centered towards the young to older adults. In major cities, especially those known for their nightlife, you can see the Absolut ads everywhere. From the subway carts, subway stations, the bus, cabs, and of course billboards, the Absolut Vodka silhouette is nothing unfamiliar. What is interesting though is none of their ads portray a nightlife scene, and there is even an ad with a hint of sarcasm on "nightlife". Absolut is very different from the other vodka brands in the market as far as their ad campaigns go. While you get a sense of prestige and status with brands like Belvedere and Grey Goose, the cocktail scene with Stohli, or the party scene with Smirnoff, Absolut does not really tie itself to any certain image while it is probably the most recognizable brand. It is just that; Absolut Vodka.

While they most certainly bring about a broad audience with their wide variety of themes in their ads, it seems the main target would be the recent college grad that lives or has moved to the big city experiencing the art, nightlife, and culture blending that only a big city could offer. With advertisements rich in sub-culture and counter-culture, they also reel in the observer in images that simply make you look at the ad and think. Tying themselves to any and everyone, the simplicity of their advertisement makes it easy to understand and to identify. Using cultural references often, Absolut captures the audience and makes their product relevant to your everyday life by referencing the theme of their ads to something relevant to you, although they may make you figure out how. Absolut has often uses the shape of their bottle subliminally to peek into the observer's personal life and imagination make a connection between that person and this bottle of Vodka; like this ad on tradition. What we



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