I’m Here, a 30-minute film by Spike Jonze, that was financed by Absolut Vodka debuted at Sundance in January. According to Hollywood Insider, it feels like a modern-day retelling of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
Post Advertising explains how the brand helped create buzz for the short online by limiting access to the work.
Screenings were limited to every two hours (it started as four-hour intervals, but ramped up due to demand), with only a fixed number of “seats” available each day. Incredibly, excess visitors started lining up eagerly for the next show. As Adverblog reported, 230,000 views were logged during the short’s premiere weekend. And like that, craving is born.
Working with popular artists is nothing new for Absolut. The brand has previously collaborated with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Helmut Newton. Anna Malmhake, Vice President Global Marketing at Absolut said, “Spike Jonze is one of the most important influencers of modern popular culture, and this 30-minute film subtly and artfully expresses our enduring commitment to collaborations and creativity.”
Absolut gave Jonze creative control of the project as well. “They just wanted me to make something that was important to me, and let my imagination take me wherever I wanted,” Jonze said. “And it wasn’t like working with some huge corporation where I had to meet with committees of people. It was just a small group, and it seemed like creativity and making something that affected them emotionally was the only thing that really mattered to them.”
More and more brands are looking to expand their role from product pushers to publishers and curators. When the content they manage is engaging and on-brand it’s a win for everyone involved.