Spoiler alert: Absolut staff don’t normally work naked due to hygiene regulations, unfortunately.
The vodka brand has quite literally gone balls-out for its latest campaign geared towards proving how transparent the distillery is in its vodka-making process.
What better way to execute this than asking 28 real (and brave) Absolut employees to get completely naked in front of camera and dance around in wheat fields? Persuading staff to take their pants off was the easy job—it was as simple as asking for volunteers, said Craig Johnson, vice president of global marketing at Absolut. The real challenge was taking the risk of shattering that nude taboo.
"Of course there are going to be people who don’t like it. But I think after you watch it for a few seconds it’s so warm, it’s so genuine, and it’s so authentic that you forget it and you just listen to the storytelling," he told Campaign US. "In the first couple of seconds you’re like, ‘oh my gosh’, but the storytelling comes so open and that’s the charm in why it works so well, and the response we’ve gotten has been brilliant."
"In Sweden there’s a lot of comfort [around nudity]. There’s not the same stigma as in the US or in the UK. People around the world have that stereotype of Swedes, so we played on that a little bit and used the metaphor of nudity to be able to tell our story of transparency."
"The Vodka With Nothing to Hide" campaign, created by BBH London and filmed over two days around the brand’s distillery in Åhus, Sweden, shows all those good-humored Swedish souls showcase their passion for transparency and sustainability. "When we first discovered how Absolut makes their vodka, we were immediately taken by how proud they were of their process. From the wheat they grow to the recycled glass for their bottles, it is uniquely transparent at every stage," said Anthony Austin, executive creative director at BBH. "We wanted to celebrate that openness, in a way that felt true to their Swedish identity, so we figured the best way to show that you are ‘The Vodka with Nothing to Hide’ would be to take all your kit off and stand in a field and talk about it."
Wheat for the vodka is sourced from 338 farms in southern Sweden, where brand reps claim to know every farmer by name. Absolut uses a CO2 neutral distillery process.
"We wanted to take what can be a boring story about ingredients and distillation process and tell a wonderful story that has a lot of meaning in a really fun way," Johnson added. He thanked those at Absolut who are "so unbelievably engaged and loyal and believe in what we’re doing."