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By Kendra Barnett | Senior Reporter

May 11, 2023 | 5 min read

Absolut is leaning into the AI hype with a new campaign that transforms AI-generated imagery into real cocktails inspired by some of Canada's most vibrant neighborhoods and towns.

Vodka label Absolut has unveiled an innovative new Canadian market ad campaign that taps into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to mix special cocktails that embody the spirit of some of the country’s most distinctive and diverse neighborhoods.

The campaign, called ‘Mix Your Neighbourhood,’ was developed in partnership with creative agency Ogilvy.

To build the cocktails and the creative, residents of 22 popular neighborhoods across Canada – from Montreal’s artsy Mile End to ski paradise Whistler Village on the west coast – were invited to share the unique ‘ingredients’ that make their neighborhood so special.

“Absolut was born to mix – and it’s usually mixed in the most iconic neighborhoods across Canada. Inspired by their eclectic nature, we asked ourselves, ‘If your neighborhood was a cocktail, what would it look like?,’” said Francesco Grandi, Ogilvy Canada’s chief creative officer said in a statement.

The results cut the heart of what makes Canada's most iconic areas so, well, iconic. For Old Toronto, for example: history, industrial design and street art. For Chinatown: narrow alleys, community, flavor and tradition.

The responses were then used to inspire prompts for generative AI programs tasked with developing images of one-of-a-kind cocktails. The team then took the artwork it had created and tapped real bartenders to bring the drinks to life, and invited locals to come and sip on the creations.

The effort represents the latest installation of Absolut’s ongoing ‘Born To Mix’ messaging platform, which kicked off last year. ‘Born To Mix’ is the biggest global marketing push in the brand’s history – which dates back to 1879.

“Absolut Vodka is always exploring new ways to live its ‘Born To Mix’ mandate, and actively seeks opportunities to approach creativity beyond what you can see, but what you can imagine,” says Caroline Begley, vice-president of marketing for Corby Spirit and Wine, Absolut‘s distiller.

“‘Mix Your Neighbourhood’ is an example of how the brand is taking the unique ingredients and traits of Canadian neighborhoods and making the unreal real by creating first-of-its-kind visual cocktails using AI,” she went on to say. ”By mixing up neighbourhoods across Canada, we hope to not only inspire new approaches to mixology but also foster a deeper connection with Canadians in the communities we serve them.”

Ogilvy, for its part, is bullish on AI in creative applications. “We believe that AI can unlock a new level of creative and strategic potential for innovative brands like Absolut, allowing them to evolve alongside culture and to show up and delight audiences everywhere,” Grandi noted in a statement.

The brand plans to extend the initiative and continue developing craft cocktails inspired by Canada’s vibrant neighborhoods. New creations will appear on absolut.com/en-ca, along with downloadable artwork and cocktail recipes. Plus, Absolut is encouraging Canadians to nominate their own neighborhoods – and share why it’s so great – for a change to be featured.

This edition of The Drum's US Ad of the Day is dedicated to our neighbors up north. We occasionally feature campaigns from across the Americas.

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