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I have long admired Absolut Vodka’s communication campaigns, having singled out Absolut Drop, Absolut World, Absolut the Vodka with Nothing to Hide and Absolut Born Colourless, for their exuberant, humane, and inclusive embracing of corporate social responsibility.
Now, Absolut Vodka has unveiled another brilliant (in every sense) new campaign dubbed Drink Responsibly, #SexResponsibly.
As the words suggests, the campaign focuses on the often vexed relationship between sex and alcohol.
“In a recent survey conducted with 21-30 year olds for Absolut by KRC Research, we learned that nine in ten have talked about consent with their friends and family, and that nearly one-third said they talk about the topic of consent frequently or all the time,” said Pernod Ricard North America Chairman and CEO Ann Mukherjee.
“Additionally, 61 percent said they believe companies should play a role in tackling this issue. When you pair that data with the startling reality that every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted – frequently involving the perpetrator’s misuse of alcohol – you can understand why we feel compelled to take a stand on the issue of consent.
“We want to start a dialogue on what it truly means to drink responsibly,” Ms Mukherjee told Forbes in an interview. “The conversation is, very simply, that everyone has the right to drink and have safe sex, but it starts with consent.”
The campaign takes the chronology of a date to break down different stages of consent, putting a spotlight on how people do (or don’t) address consent. From sliding into DMs, to buying someone a drink, to sharing a ride to the next destination, Absolut makes it clear that Only a Yes to Sex Is a Yes. Because sex without consent is sexual assault.
The campaign is particularly appropriate in the #metoo age of heightened awareness of the issue of consent and the appalling implications that lack of consent brings.
Pushed on it seeming counterintuitive for an alcohol brand to campaign for more responsible drinking, Ms Mukherjee told Forbes: “That is precisely why the brand has to do this. We’re the ones who have to make sure we’re out there educating people that you have to consume responsibly.”
For every time the ads are reposted or retweeted, Absolut will donate a dollar to RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence network.
“We hope there’s a lot of reposts,” Ms Mukherjee told Forbes, “because that will go fund the training and development for staff and employees that man the crisis hotline.” Absolut is giving an initial donate to RAINN to kick-start the campaign, and Ms Mukherjee will sit on RAINN’s National Leadership Council.
I hope this Blog, which I’ll repost on LinkedIn and Instagram, will help boost that funding and spread the message that Only a Yes to Sex is a Yes.