Call me uninformed and lazy...but I didn't realize Absolut Vodka was a product of a state owned industry until this morning when I read this:
I guess it's because when we think of state owned businesses, we think of conservative and often boring advertising - and Absolut Vodka is a brand that is known for its 'cool' 'cutting-edge' advertising. It's a brand that is mentioned in books about thematic advertising where everything went right.
The company seems open minded and creative in their attitude about marketing including product placement in tv shows. I've seen funny references made to the brand in Swedish shows like 'Beck' or in American shows like 'Sex and the City' (http://www.ez-entertainment.net/features/absolut.htm), and I believe they have come out winners for their open mindedness in how to make their brand grow.
Upon closer examination of the Absolut Hunk however, I now realize I have worked with this male model. He didn't seem this muscular and well-built at the time so I didn't even recognize him. But now that I've taken a closer look at his face - it is indeed Jason Lewis - who featured in a 'Marui' commercial in Japan years ago, and I was one of the bilingual production managers. Some of the girls in the production crew made a big fuss about meeting him and I didn't understand what the big deal was but now that I'm in my 40s and am looking at this virtually naked photograph of him, it finally dawns on me what the big deal is. He's a good looking guy isn't he? It only took me a decade to realize this!