In 2002, world class entrepreneurs ABSOLUT and ICEHOTEL had yet another crazy idea: open ABSOLUT ICEBAR together. The premiere in Stockholm was an immediate success. A few years later there were ABSOLUT ICEBARS all over the globe. But after a few years, the owners realised they had to find new ways to elevate the product concept. It had gone stale and sales and visitors were declining.
Ice bars were popping up in most major cities. All of them copies of the Original ABSOLUT ICEBAR. They cannot be stopped as the concept of ice bar is not legally ownable. Visitors could not see the difference between ice and ice… thus, the ice bar concept had become generic.
In addition, the experience has not been made interesting enough for people to want to freeze and buy drinks for more than 15 minutes. So, Jung von Matt was brought in.
Our task was to develop a new global brand platform, implement an interior communication concept, develop and produce communication materials for the ABSOLUT ICEBAR family and develop a communication strategy, brand and graphic identity, design guidelines and visual assets.
Develop ABSOLUT ICEBAR into a strong pillar to drive the Absolut Vodka equity.
We decided on a complete overhaul to enable taking mental ownership of ice, once again. To become a global icon for ice, we combined the Absolute brand's magic with the sensuality of the ice to a unique experience.
We developed a global experience concept based on sight, touch, smell, and hearing – a shift from sporadic (but beautiful) ice-sculpting to ice-sculpting as one component behind a purpose (branded entertainment). We packaged it in different conceptualized themes. Within these themes, we made totally integrated solutions ranging from ice bar concepts to interior design, staff-clothing, menus, drink recipe, light design, scent design, merchandising, promotion, PR, advertising and a new website.
The concept and ice design in ABSOLUT ICEBAR is changed semi-annually in order to constantly present a new evoking experience to the guests. Leading international artists are used to interpret the selected themes, creating experimental ice interiors and sculptures for a constantly changing experience impossible to expect.
From: Franchises complaining over stagnation.
To: New vitality. All-time-high in visitors and sales and happy owners.
One of the highlights is that ABSOLUT ICEBAR was named bar of the year in London 2009 and sales took off in all the bars.
When the modern commercial environment works best, it's not only beautiful to watch and to be in, but also tempting to interact and remember.