COMS 100B, Fall 2012
8 October 2012
In an Absolut World
Absolut vodka is based on 500 years of tradition originating in Sweden. Under the original name “Absolut rent branvin,” which means “absolutely pure vodka,” Absolut was introduced in the United States in 1979 and since has become one of the world’s most famous spirits. The advertisement campaign, In an Absolut World, was just another successful entry in the company’s advertising history, and Absolut advertising continues to be recognized as pure genius (cite). The purpose of the In an Absolut World campaign was to convey the idea that Absolut is indeed in a world of its own. The campaign challenges customary view points by presenting a refreshing optimistic perspective of everyday life, in a world of its own. One specific artifact, called the “taxi” piece, illustrates a few people leaving a bar and having to navigate the aisles of persuasion by choosing which cab to take home (since, in this particular world there is a sea of taxis from which to choose). The question to be answered remains: what if everything in the “real” world was a little more “Absolut” and perfect?
The message presented across the various examples within the campaign remains constant, as to reveal a work of art, for the audience to explore and communicate within the world of Absolut. Kenneth Burke (year) defined the rhetorical function of language as “a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols” (p. #). If this campaign sparks any response in beings, then according to Burke, in an Absolut/absolute world, the power of language is identification. This campaign visually indentifies the language of the text as being luminescent, while asking a question about what would happen if everything in the real world could be perfect. The allure of Absolut vodka captivates the audience by conveying a unique invitation to be a part of the Absolut World. With the inception of the Internet and increased availability, advertisements have the opportunity to influence society in a tremendous way. In these advertisements, “Drinkers are invited to imbibe ‘in an Absolut World,’ a fanciful, even surreal, place where common sense prevails and just deserts are always on the menu,” (Elliot, 2007, p. #). The advertisements in the campaign were created to show the view of Absolut’s World, so that the consumer has the opportunity to respond and react. [You’ve given us a somewhat abrupt transition from campaign-level (general) to artifact-level (specific)…try to ease me into it a bit more gently. I think a new paragraph is in order as well.] The basis of the content in the artifact being analyzed here represents an example of the perfect world as Absolut sees it; in this example, a parking lot is full of taxis lined up and ready to go, and the patrons of the bar have multiple options for transportation home (none of which include driving themselves). The scene in this artifact takes place at night, under the glow of the street lights, which capture the mystic notion of the evening lifestyle. The taxis here are symbols for transportation, but they also portray the message of the Absolut World. [This last statement is quite powerful, but I don’t feel as if you developed it enough to leave it alone yet. What do you mean that they portray the message? Here’s what I THINK you’re saying: the taxis are how we know that we are viewing an idealized world, not the real world. In an idealized world, no one who enjoyed Absolut would have to worry about how she/he would get home safely, because the taxis would be there. The taxis deliver to real viewers and the fictional people in the artifact.] This powerful campaign provides a framework for the culture of Absolut to establish a different viewpoint about the world in which people live; not only does this campaign function on multiple business levels, but it also speaks to consumers on a personal...
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