NeoChaEdge image of the latest Absolut campaign for hipster young people in China.

Absolut Art
Every once in a while, marketing and advertising campaigns catch our attention from the perspective that they offer something fresh for youth culture markets, and/or bring in lifestyle elements that are popular such as the usage of street artists, new media, or eco-friendly initiatives. Here are three that caught our eye.

Always a fan of what Swedish vodka brand Absolut has up their sleeves, they have again taken usage of great street artists to depict a new spin on their brand. In this case, first featured on NeoCha Edge, you can see their marketing campaign directed at young, hip, artistic people in China featuring amazing artwork with a mix of dreamy pixies and psychedelic landscapes on the bottle along with some Chinese descriptions of the brand. (See also Label Networks’ China Youth Culture Study, The Shanghai Report, and China–The Creative Crossover Profile Report.)

Lexus CT-Umbra art exhibition.

With next week’s launch of our Fall Youth Culture Study 2010, which includes an entire section on youth and changing automotive preferences, including types of models, brands, and usage patterns, plus another section devoted entirely to environmental and humanitarian marketing and advertising, these two campaigns tapped into many elements we talk about in our Study. In particular, the dichotomy of automotive and eco-friendliness raises it head in these two marketing campaigns, which are pretty interesting in several ways.

First, there’s the Lexus -CT Umbra created by the LA-based firm Nondesign. As a way to introduce its 5th hybrid, the CT 200h, they created an entire sculpture called the CT Umbra and a traveling debate program with the CT Umbra as the focal point of discussion as well as an artistic exhibition in a series called “The Darker Side of Green.”

The sculpture, made of 2,500 aluminum bards cut to the exact measurement of a CAD model, actually changes color -from green to gold to blue, and brings with it aspects of the debate if cars, particularly luxury cars could go hand-in-hand with being environmentally friendly, which a hybrid attempts to achieve.

The debate and sculpture series traveled the country this summer and attracted the attention with engineers, designers, artists, musicians, and people interested in eco-friendly solutions. Plus of course car aficionados. Now that the debate tour is over, Lexus is launching the real CT 200h and will go back through the tour cities to offer up test drives to key people.

Nissan Leaf
This marketing campaign for the new electric car the Nissan Leaf is more youth culture friendly actually, because of its usage of YouTube and the subject matter -a polar bear. In the video, the polar bear is seen struggling to find the meaning of why his frozen landscape is melting and by all measures, he looks to possibly become the last polar bear on earth. The commercial is sad and interesting at the same time, ending with a kicker, IronMan himself as Robert Downey, Jr.’s voice comes in at the end, introducing the new Nissan Leaf.