Vodka brand Absolut have launched a pop-up gallery in Sydney’s arty and too-cool-for-school ‘burb, Surry Hills. It’s called the Absolut Art Collection, a free travelling showcase with a difference, touring major cities around the world.
Absolut has a long standing association with contemporary art, and the exhibition features a number of brand collaborations including Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois as well as more recent collaborators like Spike Lee, Spike Jonze and a favourite of mine, Glasgow’s David Shrigley. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these typically play out as a piece of artwork incorporating the Absolut logo or iconic bottle, with varying degrees of success. At worst this does seem like a cynical branding exercise.
It’s set in a very New York-y lounge bar setting at the Ray Hughes Gallery, complete with cocktail bar (guess what they’re serving) and live DJ with some impressive special guests.
Alcohol brands are bang on it in terms of experiential brand events. In terms of Absolut’s credentials as a cool, relevant and creative brand, this is spot on. But how they justify the ROI from events like this is another question.