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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Absolut and VICE Media - Absolut Ally Campaign

Entered in LGBTQ+


Absolut, a dedicated LGBTQ+ advocate for over four decades, launched its global initiative, Absolut Ally, to bolster support for the community. Focused on promoting safer, inclusive spaces for adult LGBTQ+ individuals, the program emphasizes allyship through education and action. To mark PRIDE and accentuate the initiative's essence, Absolut partnered with VICE News on the documentary-style special, "Out Loud." Narrated by Big Freedia, the one-hour feature showcased trailblazing queer artists: Country artist Chris Housman, R&B artist MK xyz, and Electronic/Dance artist DJ Archangel, while highlighting the significance of physical spaces like bars and clubs as havens for the LGBTQ+ community. The special aired on VICE TV and received extensive promotion across multiple platforms, including VICE and Absolut's social channels,, VICE News YouTube, and talent socials. The partnership's primary goal was to raise awareness and spark discussions about Absolut Ally, encouraging audiences to educate themselves on allyship regardless of LGBTQ+ affiliation. Allies hold the power to reshape cultural perspectives and create safer, more inclusive environments for underrepresented community members. Through this collaborative effort, Absolut and VICE sought to foster positive change and further support the LGBTQ+ community.

Strategy and Execution

In a remarkable partnership, Absolut and VICE joined forces to breathe life into a groundbreaking project that would amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community. Leveraging VICE's storytelling and journalistic expertise, the main goal was to tell the authentic stories of real individuals and places, ultimately capturing the essence of the LGBTQ+ experience. To achieve this, a multiplatform approach was employed to raise awareness and ignite discussions. However, the path to success was not without its challenges, as the team faced obstacles in talent sourcing, last-minute changes, and securing filming clearance at various venues. Despite the hurdles, the dedicated team persevered, ensuring the project's triumph and its impactful representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

A crucial aspect of the project was ensuring the genuine representation of the LGBTQ+ community. To accomplish this, extensive research and casting efforts were undertaken to find real individuals whose stories could resonate with audiences. Talents aged 21 and above, encompassing diverse backgrounds within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, were sought to anchor the narrative. Striking the right balance between established artists and emerging talents proved to be vital in portraying authentic experiences while avoiding overshadowing the essence of the project.

The production phase was not without its share of challenges. The team had to swiftly adapt the editorial approach when faced with last-minute cancellations from some sources. This required an agile response to ensure the overall coherence and impact of the storytelling. Additionally, securing filming clearance at different venues presented logistical hurdles, demanding meticulous planning and negotiation.

To drive awareness and reach a diverse audience, a multiplatform strategy was implemented, with a linear approach as the driving force. VICE's powerful ecosystem played a pivotal role in reaching the audience at multiple touchpoints. The documentary-style special, "Out Loud," found its way onto VICE News YouTube, which boasts over 8 million subscribers, extending its reach and impact. A companion article was crafted to further highlight the significance of the partnership and the documentary, creating a comprehensive experience for audiences. Moreover, digital reach was amplified through VICE and R29 (Refinery29) platforms, strategically employing custom ad units, video, and high-impact takeovers to engage the core audience and increase overall awareness.

The collaboration between Absolut and VICE was a testament to their dedication to empowering LGBTQ+ voices and creating safer, more inclusive spaces. Through meticulous talent sourcing, agile adaptation during production, and a multiplatform approach for maximum impact, the project brought to life the authentic experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. By utilizing VICE's vast ecosystem, the initiative reached a broad audience, sparking discussions, and raising awareness about the importance of allyship and support. Absolut Ally stands as a remarkable example of how collaboration and storytelling can drive positive change and foster understanding in society.


The Absolut Pride and VICE campaign has been a huge success since its debut, amassing an impressive 13MM impressions across linear and digital platforms. The Out Loud Special Report, which aired on VICE TV in June, captivated a substantial audience of 169K P2+ viewers through three telecasts. Moreover, the digital version of the special further expanded its impact, garnering 1.5MM organic and paid impressions, and accumulating over 900K organic and paid views on YouTube. VICE social promoted the special through a cutdown, which further captured the attention with over 4.6MM impressions.

The Out Loud Special Report proved its ability to engage viewers, with an average view duration of 12 minutes, which is 5 minutes higher compared to a VICE YouTube video of the same length. While the comment section was filled with diverse perpsectives, the video played a crucial role as a catalyst for meaningful conversations.

Overall, the outstanding performance so far showcased the campaign's success, fostering heightened awareness due to the number of impressions, views, and overall reach achieve. The Absolut Pride campaign has left and will continue to leave a lasting impact, resonating strongly with its core audience and fostering dialogue on the important topic that Absolut Ally has set out to create.


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