- Pernod Ricard USA announced its forthcoming "Vote First, Drink Second" campaign ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The ad, which is the liquor brand's first commercial in three years, will debut on Sept. 29 before the first presidential debate, according to a company statement.
- The campaign will span TV, out-of-home (OOH), digital and social, and will encourage customers to vote using messages like "Your Vote Can Shake or Stir the Election," "Save Your Drink for After the Vote," and "Drinking Can Wait. Your Vote Can't."
- Pernod Ricard also said it will close its offices and modify workers' schedules for its manufacturing facilities on election day to allow time off to vote. The spirits company is urging other businesses to do the same.
This isn't the first time Absolut chose to tackle a somewhat sensitive topic through its advertisements. Before its voting campaign announcement, the spirits company in February highlighted the role of alcohol in sexual assault. That activism is part of the company's way of addressing the intersection between responsible drinking and other critical cultural issues, the company said.
"On Valentine's Day this year, Absolut shocked the spirits world by being the first brand to engage in a conversation about how perpetrators of sexual assault use alcohol as both a tool and an excuse to commit their crimes," Tad Greenough, global creative director at Absolut, said in a statement. "While many were surprised by our willingness to tackle the issue head-on, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive. We're confident people will react similarly to our call to make voting a priority — and to save the drink for after they've exercised their right to vote."
Though Pernod Ricard joins the growing list of brands that have launched voting campaigns ahead of the presidential election, the company noted that its campaign is non-partisan. Other companies, such as Snipes, Puma and Gap, have encouraged customers to vote. Patagonia most notably made headlines earlier this month with a voting advocacy effort around ensuring accessible voting for employees and customers, following the outdoor apparel brand's inclusion of clothing tags that read "Vote the assholes out."
The campaign comes months after Pam Forbus was appointed as Pernod Ricard's CMO for North America. Earlier this year, the company canceled some of its advertising and promotional spending to cut costs as the pandemic impacted sales, Reuters reported. The omnichannel campaign for Absolut suggests that the company is returning to advertising as restrictions around the pandemic are eased and consumers return to bars and restaurants.