Thursday, October 4, was National Vodka Day in the U.S., and the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) used the occasion to bash Swedish liquor brand Absolut.
The hate group's attack against the vodka company, however, fell flat when Absolut responded with a campaign that promotes, of all things, love.
Westboro Baptist Church takes on Absolut Vodka and it doesn’t go well https://t.co/cUlOaMVp9A— Mystosuk (@Mystosuk)1539168758.0
The WBC posted a tweet with the words, "God hates Pride" and "God hates drunks," in response to a picture of Absolut vodka's new rainbow bottle celebrating Pride.
@WBCSaysRepent https://t.co/mDpyob5lsh— Absolut (@Absolut)1538726908.0
But Absolut responded by having their employees collect the signs that were featured in hate group rallies around the world, including in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Germany, and Bulgaria, to turn the WBC's hate into love.
The ink used for writing the various hate slogans was extracted and repurposed to print the writing on special edition vodka bottles called "Absolut Drop."
According to Pink News, about 60 milliliters (0.015 U.S. gallons) of the ink was used to render the labels printed on three million limited edition bottles.
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent lol @WBCSaysRepent you have been owned— PinkBunnyBottom (@PinkBunnyBottom)1539169614.0
Craig Johnson, Global VP of Marketing at Absolut, told Pink News that love is the "most powerful force in the world."
Absolut and other brands have often talked a lot about these issues—we wanted to turn it into our product.
If they chose to use our brand in a hateful way, we wanted to be forthright and not let their usurpation of our bottle go [unchallenged].
We believe brands have a role to play in the current social discourse. Absolut has always stood for inclusivity.
We're not going to negatively comment on other people, other groups and their believes, but we are certainly going to talk about our values and our beliefs.
Twitter raised a proverbial glass to toast Absolut's mission to spread love.
So much #YAAAAAAASSSS!! https://t.co/ovh44CDTId— 👻 The Thot you Ghosted last Spooky 🎃 (@👻 The Thot you Ghosted last Spooky 🎃)1539214478.0
My Amazon wishlist is literally just board games and special editions of Absolut vodka— Ross Nash (@Ross Nash)1539276488.0
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent Love is the most powerful force in the world above hate. #absolutvodka #adropoflove— maria (@maria)1538983950.0
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent We at Absolut believe Love is the most powerful force in the world. #absolutvodka #adropoflove— sautereau (@sautereau)1538861294.0
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent Love , not hate— Corneliu Vilsan (@Corneliu Vilsan)1538747027.0
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent love is more powerful than anything WBC can say or do #absolutvodka #adropoflove— Effy ✨ (@Effy ✨)1539176789.0
Absolut gained at least one new customer.
@absolutvodka @WBCSaysRepent This is Absolute-ly perfect! I don't even drink vodka but I am going to buy a bottle… https://t.co/NvhEazdwy9— Gracie's Mom (@Gracie's Mom)1539183029.0
The WBC is known for their homophobic slogan "God hates f*gs," as well as their many vile protests.
Their most contemptible demonstration of homophobia was at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the young man who was beaten in Laramie and left for dead on October 6, 1998.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, designated the WBC as "arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group."