Indeed, Sid Lee is in the process of establishing a new division
called Sid Lee Entertainment, designed to "link the competencies of
Cirque du Soleil and Sid Lee to create innovative consumer
experiences." Both organizations are headquartered in Montreal.
Cirque made its investment in Sid Lee last winter,
after using the shop as its AOR for 10 years.
The new Absolut global campaign is expected to begin in the
summer with "brand campaign manifesto" advertising, with the
performance/experiential element added in the fall, Mr. Westphal
The effort marks a significant change for a brand that has been
seemingly forever linked with TBWA, the creator of Absolut's iconic
two-word campaign. The initial execution -- "Absolut Perfection" --
was pitched at the very first meeting between the agency and
client, according to this account from Ad Age 's
Encyclopedia of Advertising.
The print campaign went on to win multiple awards and helped
land Absolut a spot in the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1993. In
1999, Ad Age ranked the campaign No. 7 on a list of the top 100
campaigns of the century.
Absolut in recent years has moved away from the product-focused
effort in favor of multimedia campaigns, such as "Absolut World," which launched in 2007 and
included one execution -- a map showing much of the U.S. Southwest
as part of Mexico -- that created a furor in the states in 2008.
Of late, Absolut has taken more of a project-focused approach,
including the ongoing "Absolut
Greyhound," a multidimensional effort that includes a theme
song by Swedish House Mafia. In August, the brand launched "Absolut Unique" featuring nearly 4 million
uniquely designed bottles.
"We have a couple of different campaigns running in different
parts of the world," Mr. Westphal said. But under Sid Lee, "we want
to make sure that we move from a bit [of ] fragmented [approach]
and really get into one strong global brand campaign that can work
for all markets."
Still, there will be some differences from nation to nation. For
instance, the iconic Absolut bottle will continue to play a big
marketing role in the fast-growing markets of Brazil and China,
where it is "still a big part of the news," said Mr. Cesvet.
In more-developed markets such as Western Europe and North
America., "you cannot chuck away this asset," he said. "But at the
same time you have to build upon that . You have to get beyond the
mere exploitation of the bottle." He added: "If we want to move
into the world of doing stuff ... we have to expand the message.
There is additional information that needs to come through."