Pernod Ricard’s Absolut Vodka broke new ground Sunday night with the roll-out of a primetime network television commercial during CBS’ Grammy Awards. The ad, which ran in 15 of the largest media markets on many CBS O&O stations, is a breakthrough for network television. The warm and fuzzy :30 second branding spot appeared to tread lightly into the new frontier. It ran in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Tampa.
Absolut’s move comes during one of the worst downturns in ad spend in history. The last big downturn occurred in after 9/11. Diageo had struck cut a deal with NBC, but it fell through under pressure from politicians and advocacy groups. Since then, the number of liquor ads on television has skyrocketed, but they have almost all been on cable networks or local spot buys. Indeed, this was the first time a spirits brand ad has appeared on CBS prime time programming at all in certain major markets.
"This 30-second spot is more than a broadcast advertising milestone," said Ian Crystal, Brand Director of Absolut at Pernod Ricard USA, "as it comes at a time when many of our competitors have pulled back on their advertising investment. We want to send a message that we are committed to our consumers and to the long-term future of Absolut."
The "Hugs" spot fully complies with Pernod Ricard’s advertising code, as well as with the Advertising and Marketing code of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). The adult viewership of the Grammy Awards show is well in excess of the 70% adult demographic required.
"Hugs" features a classic soundtrack by beloved jazz artist Louis Armstrong. The 30-second spot was created by AOR TBWAChiatDay.
See the ad here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ABSOLUTworld