Absolut Vodka has collaborated with the Andy Warhol Foundation, immersive theatre company Punchdrunk and Somethin' Else to create an immersive digital game as it looks to tout its connections with artists and the creative arts.
To promote the launch of the Absolut Andy Warhol limited edition design bottle, and the 28th anniversary since the first collaboration between the vodka brand and the artist, Absolut wanted to explore new forms of storytelling through digital and gaming experiences.
The result is Silverpoint, a game – launched today on iTunes – that features eight of Warhol’s rarely seen blotted-line ‘Silverpoint’ drawings, a style he used early in his career.
During the game players will be met with what initially looks like a regular video game before being directed to collect stars and unlock a mystery story, featuring an experience from Punchdrunk.
Speaking to The Drum Adam Boita, head of marketing at parent company Pernod Ricard said that art, artists and collaboration is “fundamental” to the Absolut brand.
“Absolut Warhol was our first collaboration back in 1986 and thus our association with art was born. Since then we’ve collaborated with many artists including Keith Haring, Damien Hirst and Jamie Hewlett to name but a few.”
The outcome of the initiative, continued Boita is, “to ensure that Absolut is seen as cutting edge working with partners and artists who push the boundaries of the creative arts to further cement our legacy past, present and future.”
Paul Bennun chief creative officer at Somethin' Else hinted to The Drum that the Silverpoint experience will use iBeacon technology to incorporate real-world experiences into gaming, and said the project shows the potential for digital media’s role in storytelling and how a genuine collaboration between content creators and brands can result in effective branded content.
“When far sighted brands like Absolut, who really are committed to making stuff audiences are going to love, start working directly with agencies or companies that can deliver on that promise then the rewards are potentially very great,” he said.
“From an audience perspective you want to know that the thing you are playing with, or listening to or interacting with is honest, that it is real and it’s been done for the right reasons by people that love what they do rather than cynical reasons just to flog something.”
Bennun added that brands are increasingly realising that the traditional model of agency relationships aren’t necessarily providing the value needed and said that creative agencies should pair up with content agencies to generate that value for both brands and consumers.
“Many of the creative agencies, even the huge ones, they know advertising inside out, and they are set up to do advertising. But advertising in that traditional sense is less effective than content but they’ve got a hammer banging an advertising shaped nail and they can’t really do content like organisations like ours can.”
Somethin’ Else and Punchdrunk will utilise the R&D project to create further projects outside of Absolut with more activity involving the brand to be confirmed.