Rita Ora to write a song for Absolut about acceptance as part of brand’s latest campaign

Singer Rita Ora is fronting an initiative for Absolut called The Open Mic Project that will see her create a song based off of fan stories about their experiences with inclusivity and acceptance.

The vodka brand is encouraging fans to visit The Open Mic Project’s website to submit personal stories about moments when they felt accepted and loved for who they are. Ora will then look at their stories and “co-create” a song with fans that will be unveiled during the 60th Grammy Awards in January.

Created in partnership with 360i, the effort is part of Absolut’s ‘Create A Better Tomorrow, Tonight’ global campaign that the vodka brand launched earlier this year.

The campaign, which kicked off in July with a spot that featured people of different genders, sexualities, ages and races partaking in a kissing game of sorts, is part of Absolut’s attempt to go back to its roots and show today’s consumers that the brand has been supporting equality - particularly LGBT rights - long before many others were. In 1981, Absolut was one of the global first brands to target the LGBT community when it ran ads in two magazines read by gay men, a milestone the brand celebrated in 2011 with a series of ads that celebrated “30 years of going out and coming out.”

Nick Guastaferro, head of US marketing at Absolut, said that The Open Mic Project is the Swedish brand’s first US-specific articulation of the overarching ‘Create A Better Tomorrow, Tonight’ campaign. Since Absolut has a sponsorship with the Grammy Awards, he said that the project will “use music as a vehicle to unite voices and instigate positive change.”

“As a global icon in the music, entertainment, and fashion industries – with a strong penchant for righting wrongs and raising awareness for social causes – Rita Ora was a natural choice as an authentic conduit to help Absolut give fans, friends and followers from coast-to-coast a voice,” he said. “Acceptance has been a part of Rita’s own personal journey, from being a young refugee to speaking her mind as a female artist in the music industry. We feel that she truly and authentically embodies the sentiment of this campaign and are thrilled to work with her.”

Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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