Regulations in advertising can often enhance creativity

In some markets, advertising laws around alcohol can be complicated to navigate. In France, for instance, any marketing for alcoholic beverages must be linked to either provenance, ingredients, production or the final product.

In their latest Born to Mix campaign for the French market, the Absolut team decided not to let the local restrictions hamper their creativity. Instead, they used it as a force to push creativity even further. 

Maxime Henain, Head of Culture & Brand Partnerships at Absolut, is part of the team that accepted the challenge. He says they didn’t view the legislation as a constraint in their creative process. “Creatively, it’s a very interesting exercise to use the limitations in your favor. It has forced us to be smarter and express the brand’s point of view in new ways.”

“Our goal with the campaign is to form a tighter bond with our consumers and get them to connect with our Born to Mix message. We want to highlight the power of mixing together. Whether it’s ideas, people, around our drinks – this is at the core of the brand’s mission.”

The idea the team came up with was to ask a famous French bartender and four artists from across the globe to collaborate and reimagine three classic cocktails. This has resulted in the Bloody Mario, the No Waste Mule, and the Cosmoparitan – three timeless cocktails with an Absolut twist. 

Creatively, it’s a very interesting exercise to use the limitations in your favor

The artists worked together to visually interpret each cocktail, mixing and merging their distinct expressions and styles in a visually compelling way, thus honoring the creative credentials the brand has always been known for in the French market. The brief was straightforward: bring the cocktails to life in a creative way that honors the brand – and, of course, in full respect of local regulations. 

How were the legal boundaries manifested in the campaign?

The fact that the artistic interpretations of the cocktails show only ingredients or tools central to mixing the drinks is due to regulations, but also because of our desire to enhance our mixing credentials. That has forced us and collaborator artists to be very creative in the way we showcase the ingredients. This can be seen through the artists’ use of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional styles and graphics.

Is that also a way of showcasing the power of mixing?

Yes, because when two different worlds collide, exciting things happen. That goes for all forms of mixing. As a brand, we always encourage this encounter, whether it’s through artistic expressions or ingredients used in a creatively crafted cocktail. 

How did you choose which artists to work with?

We searched for artists who resonate with Absolut and share the brand’s values – talents that have a distinct style and feel “Absolut” in their creativity and avant-garde mindset. They all did an amazing job and have come up with ideas that are very creative while also considering a rather tricky legal framework.