Absolut Launches Boston-Inspired Vodka With Help From Famous Locals

To launch its third city-inspired vodka, Absolut staged a fund-raising stunt that brought together some of Boston's most famous locals.

By Michael O'Connell September 23, 2009, 3:02 PM EDT

Eddie Doyle, the famous local bartender and real-life inspiration for Cheers character Sam Mallone, was there to kick-off the new flavor.

Photo: Gail Oskin

Absolut Boston Launch
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Absolut Spirits launched the latest vodka in its city series last month with Absolut Boston. From August 26 through September 4, the brand invited Bostonians to learn more about the limited-edition flavor with a stunt at the Prudential Center and an online auction benefiting the Charles River Conservancy—while driving traffic to Absolut's Facebook presence.

“To create a unique experience for Bostonians, we created the Wall of Pride, which enlisted famous sons and daughters of Boston to commemorate their favorite memories of the city,” said Absolut Spirits public relations manager Sarah E. Bessette. ”[We] worked with everyone from actresses Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch to legendary sports figures Jim Rice and Cam Neely.”

Entries on the wall ranged from typical memories of sporting successes to the more irreverent. Amy Poehler, for example, fondly remembers the day the Burlington Mall added a food court.

Absolut produced the stunt with the help of The Joe Lewis Company. Each of the more than two dozen celebrity-contributed memories were handwritten on tiles that lined the Wall of Pride throughout its run. Signage at the wall and an online publicity campaign directed consumers to the Absolut Boston Facebook page and individual eBay auctions for each of the tiles. When bidding closed, the project had raised more than $3,000 for the Charles River Conservancy.

Keeping things as Boston-centric as possible, the launch event also highlighted the city. Famous Cheers bartender Eddie Doyle was there for the Wall of Pride launch, and after the brief press conference, local media were treated to Absolut Boston cocktails and local fare like clam chowder and lobster rolls at Stephanie’s on Newbury Street.

Boston is not the first market to get the Absolut treatment, and it won't be the last, but the brand carefully weighs options before deciding which locales to include in its city series, which counts New Orleans and Los Angeles in its ranks. “Absolut chooses markets that appeal to our consumers on both a regional and national level,” Bessette said. “New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Boston are all aspirational cities where our consumers live, travel to, and party.”

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