The issues surrounding Absolut's Mexico ad and Skyy Vodka's response were so compelling, many reporters had takes on the situation. In addition to Tonya Garcia's PR Play on the matter, we feature two more commentaries on The Cycle.
Centering an ad on the Mexican-American War may have seemed like a good idea during the initial pitch meeting for the Mexican arm of Absolut Vodka's "In An Absolut World" campaign, but it absolut-ly missed the mark.
For those of us who don't live in an "Absolut World," where vodka is always on tap, the ad centering on Mexico reclaiming the Pacific Coast and Southwest seems more like a PR ploy intended to push the boundaries of good taste, than a whimsical what-if.
If Absolut had to take a socio-historical shot, couldn’t the company have at least used a more original concept, like "In An Absolut World," circa 1491, when Europeans were still in Europe, and there was only one demographic?
However, driving the largest number of North American consumers to drink calls for a campaign to hit several sensitive, red-button issues, like NAFTA, immigration, and the promotion of multiculturalism.
This campaign was obviously not the sort of commentary that would merely stay put in Mexico. It's the kind media outlets love to pick-up and promote "from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli," guns a-blazing.
Regardless of the Swedish company's public apology and pulled ads, this campaign did exactly what it set out to do: celebrate conflict and create buzz, for itself, promoting an "Absolut World" where the Alamo is still being fought and Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place would have had completely different casts. Absolut could have easily crafted a campaign bringing together the two cultures, in a tasty Tex-Mex combo, as opposed to more mindless pot stirring.
PR Play rating:
3. On the right track