Absolut uses South Korean protests in its new advert: hit or miss?

Photo credit: 
Binge's picture
December 21, 2016
The brand’s bold move has offended citizens, but might not be all bad in reality.

Absolut recently got into hot waters over their new advertisement. The vodka brand used a time-lapsed photo of the protests taking place in South Korea, morphed into the shape of an Absolut bottle, using the caption: “The Future is Yours to Create”.

It may have intended to serve as a compliment to the protesters, to support the message that the power to change the future lies within the population. However, many South Koreans were angered at the advert because they considered it to be disrespectful to the current political climate. To them, it implies commercialising the protests, almost using them to make a profit. Many even failed to see the connection between the protests and vodka.

For a big company like Absolut to take a stance on social or political issues could also considered positive. But South Koreans have found it inappropriate to connect their struggle for social justice with alcohol.