Databank alcohol: Absolut touts Web site with banners

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Since it first started advertising on the Web in 1994, Absolut vodka has developed branded entertainment content rather than simply deploying banners across the Internet. One of its biggest successes was Absolut DJ, a site and ad campaign in which users could create their own music.

Now, the Swedish vodka brand known for its innovative print ads has kicked off a campaign for its latest entertainment site, The online ads supporting the site, which launched in May, ranked Absolut sixth among the top 10 most-advertised alcohol brands during July, according to data from Jupiter Media Metrix.

The site itself is aimed at users who have made digital video and moviemaking a hot trend, said Kim Wijkstrom, account director for Absolut at Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York. Inspired by Woody Allen's "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" the site provides footage from the 1967 Japanese sci-fi movie "The X from Outer Space," as well as different voices, including a Japanese cowboy and American scientist. Users can create their own dialogue and plotlines and add different sound effects to be dubbed over the movie scenes. The homepage includes versions created by independent filmmakers Spike Lee, Mary Harron and Chris Smith.

The banners, which simply state "Visit," ran on digital movie-making sites Resfest and Sputnik 7, celebrity-trading site Hollywood Stock Exchange, as well as Maxim online, general entertainment sites and film-focused sites, including those for the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

Those magazines also ran print ads, as did The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times magazine. The ads all link to absolutdirector's homepage or to pop-up pages on sites that do not allow traffic to be diverted elsewhere. And to add to the viral marketing aspect, users can e-mail their movie links to others.

"We try to take advantage of the interactivity of the medium," Mr. Wijkstrom said. "We're developing branded entertainment content that delivers the best bang for the buck." Research has showed that the concept has worked in the past, he said, adding that people "were very positive about our image online." Tracking results are not yet available for the director site.

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