Skyy Vodka Capitalizes on Absolut Mess

'Proudly Supports Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo'

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I should probably leave this one to Laura Martinez ... and I couldn't quite figure out if this would be better posted here in the Big Tent or Adages as the great Absolut Vodka Scandal of 2008 has reached such ludicrious proportions, but you'll all be interested to note that Skyy Vodka, doing what a marketer should do in a situation like this, has taken advantage of a competitor's headache. It's unveiled a press release proclaiming it stands by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and bragging about its Made in the U.S.A. status. Importantly, it's done this with a sense of humor so that it can benefit from the outrage of certain factions without actually getting Glenn Beck or Lou Dobbs cooties all over its brand.

From the release:
"Like SKYY Vodka, the residents of states like California, Texas and Arizona are exceptionally proud of the fact that they are from the United States of America," said Dave Karraker, SKYY Vodka. "To imply that they might be interested in changing their mailing addresses, as our competitor seems to be suggesting in their advertising, is a bit presumptuous."

In the ad, an "Absolut World" is depicted where the map of North America is re-drawn with Mexico claiming much of the Western United States, negating the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as well as the Gadsden Purchase (1853), and the independence of Texas (1836).

"Don't get me started on the Gadsden Purchase," continues Karraker. "I think the folks in Tucson and Yuma would be rubbed the wrong way if they hear this landmark deal was somehow nullified as suggested by Absolut, a Swedish-owned brand."
Of course, one could argue that Skyy stands a chance of now angering Mexicans. But I doubt that its Mexico sales (if it has any) will be hurt anymore than Absolut's U.S. sales. (That's right--despite all the drama, I'm predicting Absolut isn't gravely damaged by this. Remember folks, the blogosphere and cable news sometimes make something seem much much bigger than it really is.)

I'm sure at this point, it would take an hour and a half to explain to the average Mexican just what the heck is going on. "So, wait. A blogger ripped out an Absolut vodka ad from one of our gossip magazines and put this on a website in the U.S. Then a bunch of people in the richest country in the world took the joke in the ad seriously because 2,000 people on college campuses in the Arizona and California have sworn to 'take back' the land for ... wait, who are they taking the land back for? The Spanish? The Yaqui? The Mayans? So some gringos in the U.S. got all worked up over this vodka ad. Seriously? And this ad was for a Swedish vodka, right? Oh, wait, it's now owned by a French company? And now Skyy vodka is declaring war on us and this famous American patriot Lou Dobbs, he's going to take over and run things?"

You know, when it's put like that, the whole thing sounds just a little silly.
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