Departing from their usual advertising campaign of Absolut “____”, the Swedish Vodka company recently ran an ad in Time Out NY‘s print magazine so bizarre I actually looked up the accompanying url. BeKANYE, is a fictional advertisement for a drug promising to transform users into superstar rapper and hip hop producer Kanye West. “Ordering BeKANYE is the ABSOLUT best thing I ever did for myself” reads the website, along side a number of pictures wherein one white person is literally transformed into a hip West and three other pictures suggest this same racial relationship. Even taking into consideration the prejudices this read reveals, (technically the people Kanye West transforms could be of any ethnic decent), it’s hard to get over the, “lets turn bland white people into one of the few hip black rappers they can connect to” message that seems to be beneath this.
To be completely honest, I don’t understand this campaign at all. It’s not like Absolut Vodka is plastered all over ads in which the company compares itself to a pharmaceutical product, so I can’t see it doing very well unless it goes madly viral. It’s doubtful that will happen with what I’ve seen so far, though the video is pretty funny. A 5 day countdown to something on the website suggests this maybe a small portion of a larger ad push, so I guess we just have to wait and see what comes of it.