The oval glass with the inserted celery stalk is a sexually charged image. The goblet features a design that’s very similar to an attention-focusing hypnotic spiral.
The embellished frame is at an off-kilter perspective. As the truck proceeds through traffic, the lighting will be both varying in intensity and coming from different angles. The viewer — either a pedestrian or a motorist — probably also will be moving. Especially on the road, the askew portrayal of the frame will provide an illusion of depth and animation.
Here we have an Absolut billboard that at first seems to be very similar to their Lemon Drop Citron ad. Both feature a blond model and a bottle of Absolut on a table. Actually, the communications could not be more different.
In this Twist ad, the table is quite prominently set just for one. The room is characterized by a series of circles — large letter “Os” — that make up targets with the focus as dots at the center. The model is about to make music by herself with a phonograph — a machine that works by an arm acting on a round record. This particular record player arm is of a rather unusual tool-like appearance. The model’s skin-tight clothing is the same color as the circles and the target.
Unusually for a liquor ad, the model is not gazing longingly out of the picture at the viewer or above (or eyes closed) in rapture. Instead, home alone, the green-clad blond casts a worried glance to the right as if to make sure that she won’t be disturbed. What’s there to hide?
The Absolut Twist ad — unlike most other liquor pieces — is aimed at women. Beyond the brand, drinking alone is what’s being promoted. The message is that solitary imbibing is just another acceptable way for adults to entertain themselves.
The billboard in all its two-story glory
Full frontal psychoanalytic symbols?
Does this billboard (photographed at a bus shelter just outside of the Hoboken, NJ PATH station) hold the record for the largest number of Freudian symbols in one image? There’s the plush yellow carpet that highlights the model’s hair. Then there are the pink flowers with the curved, undulating petals and the stems inserted into the water-filled vase. There also is the pair of oval glasses with a pair of oval slices of lemon. The collection finishes up with low-hanging fruit.
Scrutinizing the photo, it’s not certain what the yellow hue in the window is. Sunlight? A reflection of the floor? When walking by I had the impression that the yellow area was a drape. That brought to mind the wisecacre comment concerning window treatments-rug color coordination.
I first thought that the bucket of Libido fuel being thrown on the Id fire of passers-by was meant — through a subliminal stratagem — to generate (heterosexual male) interest in the ad. This excitement would then — as is the Pavlovian standard in many liquor ads — be associated with the product. I later learned that Absolut sponsored an edgy little faux retro flick — Lemon Drop — that the poster was supposed to promote. Is the concatenation of sexual hints meant to be a sort of Sigmund Hirschfeld collection of Ninas? An adult version of “How many faces are in this picture?”
Absolut wanted the Lemon Drop video to go viral, but it seems not to have achieved the intended momentum. The URL printed in the billboard only comes up as SERVICE UNAVAILABLE.
BTW, the reflection of the building and the glare are just that — artifacts of poor lighting.
The images above are of a billboard in Jersey City west of the Holland Tunnel. These photos were taken on 12/24/10, nearly two months after the Hoboken bus shelter shoot. The featured Web Site is still down, but now forwards to the generic Facebook login Page. As it seems that Absolut abandoned the Internet movie feature, it’s curious that they persist with the advertising.