When I took my first marketing class in college, I fell in love. Not with the hunky guy two seats in front of me who was out of my league, but with a new-found major. From there on out I looked forward to every class within my major and soaked it all up like a sponge. I was particularly enamored with advertising. I started dreaming of working in an ad agency, and began tearing out any advertisements from magazines that struck a chord, or demonstrated a particular approach that I had learned about that week in class. I became obsessed with Absolut Vodka . . . ads. And yes, okay, obsessed with how it meshed beautifully with tonic water and lime. Before smartphones and before I owned a photo scanner, I would just tear the ads out and put them in a binder. Kind of dorky I know. I spent half a day stapling them up on a wall in my apartment once – they filled a wall from floor to ceiling. Then Absolut came out with a book showcasing a bunch of their best ads – I was in heaven! I proudly displayed that book on my coffee table for probably a year. I just loved what it embodied to me: creativity, success, and reaching the audience with compelling art.
When I graduated I had high hopes of getting into an ad agency. I must have applied to about 10 in the area, most that didn’t even have an opening advertised. I tried calling managers there and just winging it. I was naive. I just thought getting a job would be easy!
Well I never broke into an ad agency. But I did end up on a career path in marketing that I have no regrets about. And I still have those Absolut ads in the binder. I can’t bring myself to throw them away. They still spark something in me that inspires me to be innovative and unique in my creative outlets.
So I’ll leave you with an Absolut ad that I find very striking. It’s not really one of the clever ones, or even one of the pun-laden ones. I just . . . love it. It has ZING.