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Journey of rediscovery: Absolut launches limited edition Andy Warhol bottle

The latest limited edition bottle from Absolut champions creativity, inspired by a long-lost painting by revered American artist Andy Warhol.

Absolut Andy Warhol bottle
In collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

“Art serves as a potent medium for Absolut due to its ability to evoke emotions, spark conversations and challenge dimensions,” says Deb Dasgupta, vice-president global marketing for Absolut Vodka. Art has long played an important part in the brand’s creative expression. For Absolut, it’s about more than visual beauty. It holds the power to unite people; to enable them to connect regardless of differences, or distances worldwide.

“What Absolut has done with artists is tap into their creativity and provided a vehicle for storytelling and expression – and then connected with consumers on a deeper level,” Dasgupta continues.

Warhol bottle“This commitment to artistic partnerships for the brand not only reinforces our brand identity as an innovative and forward-thinker, but also allows the brand to contribute to cultural conversations, inspire positive change and foster this sense of community and connection.” The latest limited edition release from the company makes no exception to this ethos.

In collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Absolut is launching a limited edition bottle – Absolut Warhol – inspired by the rediscovery of Warhol’s Absolut ‘blue’ painting. The launch comes 40 years after the brand first collaborated with the American artist and will be the latest innovation as part of the vodka brand’s Born to Mix platform. Born to Mix is an ongoing campaign designed to break the ice to create a more open world, much like Warhol’s work democratised art by elevating everyday objects and leaning on pop culture. On 1 July, the striking bottle will debut exclusively in global travel retail for eight weeks and be available in 1L bottles, priced at US$24.

To mark the occasion, Amsterdam Airport will host a striking Absolut Warhol interactive pop-up store. Travellers will also have the chance to immerse themselves in this unique brand story at some of the world’s leading airports, from the UK and Dubai, to Singapore, São Paulo, Australia, India, Spain and the Dominican Republic. Expect an engaging 3D out-of-home campaign combined with a comprehensive digital outreach and a plethora of retail activations.

Cultural icon

Dasgupta says: “We are renowned for our engagement with pop culture legends, and we are also dedicated to perpetuating these collaborations with artists, championing art across cultural fluidity, and this is what we have been doing for decades. So, this particular collaboration is a celebration of iconicity. And icons are timeless.”

To understand the latest art-inspired bottle better, it’s important to retrace those past 40 years. In 1985, Andy Warhol became the first artist to create artwork based on the silhouette of Absolut’s apothecary-inspired bottle. The artist painted vibrant colours against a black background to create his silk-screen ‘Absolut Warhol’ piece.

But he also made another painting, so the rumours claimed. The painting was considered lost for decades, and in that time Absolut went on to work with hundreds of other artists offering a platform for creativity and self-expression. Between 1985 and 2004, 550 artists created more than 800 artworks based on the unique Absolut bottle shape and reflective of three decades’ worth of cultural trends. It wasn’t until 2020 when decades of whispers were confirmed, and Absolut’s ‘blue’ painting was rediscovered.

It was this painting that inspired the Absolut Warhol blue bottle. The artwork will also be celebrated when it is unveiled to the public at Stockholm’s Spritmuseum on 17 October 2024, as the focal piece of a new exhibition: Andy Warhol, Money on the Wall. It will be available to view until April 2025, Dasgupta confirms.

Absolut Warhol paintingLong-lost painting

It’s a story Absolut is excited to tell. About how a long-lost painting survived decades, and can be reborn to, aiming to ignite global curiosity and a shared appreciation for art. “Our goal is to create a cultural moment that celebrates artistry, fosters inclusivity and embodies the essence of Absolut’s distinctive brand identity,” Dasgupta explains. “When you see the bottle of Absolut Warhol, it reminds you that the legacy and the history of collaboration with Absolut is unparalleled. We have been the pioneers of cultural collaborations and cementing that at the heart of contemporary culture is our ambition.”

Multi-layered screen-printing is responsible for the bottle’s artistically layered look. The glass brings both internal and external design components together in a reimagining of Warhol’s rediscovered painting. Each hue of blue has been carefully extracted from the painting, with an image of Warhol himself featuring on the bottle alongside his original signature. When the bottle is filled with Absolut Vodka, the image expands and is magnified, bringing Warhol’s rediscovered Absolut ‘blue’ painting from 1985 to life.

“Limited edition bottles help reinforce the brand’s identity in a very innovative, creative and culturally relevant way,” Dasgupta explains about the importance of special releases. “Secondly, limited edition bottles are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, and it creates that sense of exclusivity and value. That drives excitement and demand for the Absolut bottle and the brand. The third part is that it’s also a very effective marketing tool for marketers because it allows us to generate buzz, create excitement, talkability, conversations and dialogues with our consumers. That also allows us to do special promotions, partnerships and campaigns etc. So, it creates a complete 360 system.”

It’s a testament, too, to Absolut’s contribution to the longevity of the vodka category as whole.

“Vodka is the most resilient category,” Dasgupta notes. “Consumers keep coming back to vodka because of its versatility. Therefore, what vodka provides is an amazing base for unleashing creativity through cocktails. We always encourage great professionals to reconsider their perceptions and embrace cocktail culture.

“Absolut has always inspired the global community of bartenders and attracted the world’s leading mixologists to create many of today’s most iconic cocktails, whether it’s the Cosmopolitan or the Espresso Martini – and we will continue on that journey.”

Absolut Warhol

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