At the close of 2021, sales for the overall liquor industry were booming. The vodka category, however, was on a steep decline and was being outrun by the rising success of the ready-to-drink beverages, brown spirits, and tequila. Absolut, once a catalyst for culture and creativity, had lost its footing in a now cluttered and ubiquitous market. A once iconic brand known for stand-out moments such as the Absolut Warhol bottle and the Sex & The City Cosmo now lacked relevance with the ever-growing gen-zenial audience.
As the world prepared to return to an IRL Coachella, Absolut pushed to create a moment to retake their position in culture. The goal; reignite a once iconic brand through a headline-worthy activation at the festival that drives relevance with their aspirational target in an authentically Absolut way. The idea needed to spark amplification and conversation well beyond the festival walls.
Absolut’s creative legacy sets a high bar for new concepts. Looking back at the progressive origins of Absolut’s historic campaign work, what is clear is the brand has always had a passion for looking forward – forging innovative ways to embrace new perspectives through art, fashion, music, and culture. The brand’s spirit had incredible synergy with the disruptive nature of Web3, and the unlimited creative experimentation in the metaverse. For a brand so bold it regularly reimagined its iconic bottle, the answer was re-imagining what it meant “to be” at Coachella. And not just to activate within the festival, but expand the experience beyond festival grounds so everyone—even fans at home without a ticket—could attend like never before. Absolut.Land was born. The virtual world’s first ticket to Coachella with mirroring experiences. A way to mix IRL concert goers with digital avatars over a very real Absolut drink.
Core to Absolut’s brand DNA is the “Born to Mix” story. More than just a strategic platform, it is a lens through which the brand views every touchpoint of consumer communication. With Absolut.Land, this meant understanding various audiences in order to predict each individual’s interests and desires. Five key personas were identified: a) veterans of the virtual world’s decentralized communities, b) metaverse newbies stepping into Decentraland for the first time, c) NFT and crypto enthusiasts who we could attract if properly catered to (ahem, NFTs), d) Absolut fans, e) on-the-ground festival concert goers at Coachella. Once the audience was clear, an inclusive experience was engineered to allow everyone to interact, engage, and “mix.” Above all, human connection (whether through a click or the cheers of a real drink) was imperative. These were not siloed user experiences but mixed realities.
Absolut.Land featured innovative experiences inspired by the brand’s products, heritage and passion points. The multi-level experience unlocked surprise moments like Absolut bottle collectibles hidden throughout the space, product promos and unique metaverse experiences. Over shared virtual drinks, festival-goers had the chance to unlock one-of-a-kind avatar wearables from the cult-favorite, whimsical handbag and jewelry brand designer - Susan Alexandra - with the newly launched Susan Alexandra for Absolut Collection. Avatars within the space were also able to seek out and access secret portals that “teleported” fans to Coachella Valley for an IRL VIP experience during the festival’s second weekend. Visitors to Absolut.Land also unlocked an exclusive virtual listen to songs from Coachella headliner, Swedish House Mafia’s latest album. The experience launched in tandem with the launch of Coachella and was immediately available to audiences around the world.
The results were outstanding!
260,000 visitors to the Absolut Coachella tent
30,000 meta visits over two festival weekends (a high for branded Decentraland experiences)
1.5+ billion earned media impressions over 6 days of Coachella
108+ million social media impressions; 12% follower growth
90,000 anti-gravity dances; 11,000 shaker clicks; 34,000 vending machine clicks
Participants from over 100 countries
20 minutes average time in experience
Record for Decentraland’s longest dance party (12+ hours)
$450,000+ in sales over the two festival weekend (1.5x more than in 2019)
Over 4,000 orders on Drizly (across 36 states)
8X more hashtag mentions than the next closest brand/celebrity driven experience in Decentraland