Contemporary vibes in Korea
In Korea, making an impact is all about having the perfect mix of legacy and contemporary flare. Content is king and if you deliver interesting opportunities, people will que up for the occasions.
That’s very much what happened when the Absolut team opened an artistic pop-up called the Absolut Home, in an old factory in Seoul. We had a chat with Dam Bi Lee, Brand Manager for Absolut Vodka in Korea, on her view of the successful activation.
What did you do with Absolut Home in Korea?
The Absolut Home was a pop-up in Seoul that was open for a month. It was a collaborative space where two rising Korean artists showcased their work. The response from the visitors was overwhelming. We had more than 15 000 people showing up and at times there was actually even a line to get in. To me, that was a true testimony on how much Koreans love the Absolut brand. I’d say that the Absolut Home pop-up was one of the most trendy ones in Korea in 2022.
We had more than 15 000 people showing up and at times there was actually even a line to get in. To me, that was a true testimony on how much Koreans love the Absolut brand.
What kind of art was on display at the venue?
In the Livingroom of the pop-up, we had works by Yoyojin, who’s famous for doing elaborate drawings. He did some drawings based on Absolut-themes, but in his own style. Yeojun Yoon was another artist we collaborated with. He decorated the game room of the pop-up with graphic neon signs. His artwork is now in one of the biggest clubs in Seoul, center of Korea. Both artists are great representations of modern Korea.
What are the biggest drinking trends in Korea now?
I know that there’s a global trend towards an increase in consumption of low ABV-drinks (alcohol by volume). But Korea is different. Here, it’s actually the opposite. Whiskey, gin, and tequila is growing but Absolut vodka is still no 1 in the vodka category. Koreans love Absolut, and the Korean team had done an amazing job. We’re doing all we can to increase the brand’s market share and awareness.
What distinguishes the Korean market compared to other Asian markets?
Key is that we do have a lot of good content. K-pop and K-drama. Most Koreans are passionate about great content. This pop-up is based on this insight, to use an exhibition to deliver our key messages in an experimental and interesting way. Korean consumers seek these kinds of activations. The Absolut home pop-up location was also chosen specifically in a neighborhood known for its artistic residents. The actual venue is an old factory that’s been transformed to an artist building and I’d say just about every Korean knows or has heard of the S-factory. It’s very famous for hosting interesting exhibitions – a perfect match for Absolut.