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Absolut Perfection: The Campaign with Infinite Possibilities

When a campaign makes over 1,500 versions of an ad, there’s bound to be a few great stories attached. Absolut Vodka is a prime example. As the story goes, Andy Warhol fell in love with the bottle’s shape one night at Studio 54 nightclub in NYC. “I love the bottle, I want to do something,” the pop art artist is famously quoted as saying. And with this, the first Absolut artistic collaboration, “Absolut Warhol,” came into existence. While Warhol may be responsible for securing Absolut Vodka ads for more than just 15 minutes of limelight, TBWA had created the look and feel for these iconic ads since the early 1980s.

Every print ad was centered around the bottle and an ever changing line of copy: “Absolut _____.” Some featured special editions of the bottle, such as the one Warhol designed, while others stayed true to the original branding and let the page design do the rest. Perhaps the most innovative and brilliant examples of this campaign existed in the chunk of ads that opted out of showing a literal bottle at all, but rather referenced it in composition and alternative designs (Examples: Absolut Reflection, Absolut Self-Control, and Absolut Idol).

Needless to say, the versatility of the Absolut campaign meant it could morph into any scene, trend, or moment of relevance. Arguably no other brand has created such a lasting design that allowed them to stay cool over the span of decades.