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21 June 2011

Absolut and Huffer Collaboration

Over the last 30 years, the leading international premium vodka brand Absolut has collaborated with an array of the world's top design and fashion icons including Andy Warhol, Tom Ford and Stella McCartney to create innovative campaigns. Now it's time for a New Zealand original, with the launch of Absolut NZ Limited Edition, a collaboration with the iconic NZ fashion label Huffer. 
Usually Absolut campaigns are global through TBWA\ Worldwide in New York so this New Zealand inspired bottle marks a deviation from tradition - the only other country to be allowed a regional campaign so far is China. 
While New Zealand is Absolut’s smallest international market, Dave Poole, Pernod Ricard head of marketing, reckons we’re pretty damn cutting edge here in moa-land.

“We’re almost the Team New Zealand of vodka. Getting sign-off from the global company was a massive effort that took ages. Having TBWA/Whybin in New Zealand was essential to getting any regional marketing and advertising off the ground, and together we’ve done an amazing job. We did a lot of research with Kiwis and asked ‘what’s missing between vodka and you?’ They wanted the big global brand to tip their hats to them; they wanted to get a Kiwi message across and feel that Absolut cared about them.”

As for the partnership itself, Huffer is an iconic Kiwi brand, well-regarded by the average, slightly polished bloke to the high-brow, high-street fashionista. Or, as Poole puts it “a brand that was accessible yet aspirational”.
“We started with an idea and we wanted a New Zealand feel and pack, rang up Huffer and went from there. It’s a perfect fit, world famous in New Zealand.”

The unique pack features a map of NZ made up of Huffer's signature three-dot logo on a black background

“We’re beyond proud to be involved with this collaboration and to partner with an international brand such as Absolut. Absolut’s aesthetic and creativity have always appealed to us as a brand and to be able to create a New Zealand-first with them is a complete thrill.”
~ Steve Dunstan, Company Director, Huffer  

Absolut were convinced from the outset that Huffer was the perfect fit for this campaign, with their design-led background based on inclusivity and functionality.
“Huffer brings their energy, talent and innovation to the collaboration which showcases the bold and iconic personalities of ABSOLUT and Huffer through this first-ever New Zealand limited edition giftpack.” says Luan Howitt, ABSOLUT’s Marketing Manager.
A signature cocktail inspired by Huffer and Absolut’s mixologist Chris Harrop (below) has been created in celebration of the campaign: 

Absolut Huffer Designer Cocktail 

30 ml Absolut Original
20 ml Kahlúa
30 ml freshly brewed espresso
15 ml maple syrup
Dash of Fee Brothers bitters
Method: stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three white chocolate buttons, arranged in the shape of the Huffer symbol.

Absolut is also a partner of 2011 NZ Fashion Week at the end of August so this collaboration is likely to continue to provide benefits 

1000 dozen packs and bottles will be available for a limited time through retail chains and duty-free stores.

Article with thanks to: FashioNZ, Stoppress 

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