L.O. Smith invents premium vodka. 1978 An overnight success, Absolut remains farm-to-table to this day.
L.O. Smith, the bearded fellow on the seal of every bottle, creates Absolut Rent Brännvin (Absolutely Pure Vodka) by inventing a revolutionary way to infinitely distill vodka until all impurities are removed. Absolut is an overnight success. To meet demand, a distillery opens in 1906 in a tiny Swedish village called Åhus. To this day, every bottle is from Åhus, by the people of Åhus, with all ingredients - every drop of water to every blade of wheat - sourced within a 75-mile radius. Farm-to-table, since 1879.
A vintage Swedish apothecary bottle inspires Absolut’s bottle design
Absolut’s bottle design is inspired by a vintage apothecary bottle discovered in Stockholm’s oldest neighbourhood. It represents clarity, simplicity and perfection – the hallmarks of Swedish design and becomes one of the most iconic silhouettes in design history.
Absolut is a staple at Studio 54. Warhol wears it as cologne. Haring and Ruscha are in on the party.
Michel Roux introduces Absolut to America and the vodka becomes the fuel for creative nightlife in NYC. A fixtureatStudio 54, Roux be-friends buzzy NYC artists like Andy Warhol,Keith Haring, Ed Ruscha, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who become brand supporters and collaborators.
The “Absolut ________” campaign is dreamed up in a bath
Underdog advertiser, Jeff Hayes comes up with the idea for Absolut’s bottle ads in the bath: a whimsical two-word campaign entitled, “Absolut ___________”
Andy says, “I want to do something with that bottle” kickstarting 600+ artist collaborations
Carrying the bottle to clubs and sporting its contents as aftershave, Andy Warhol declares, “I love the bottle, I want to do something with it” and becomes the first artist to create an original work for Absolut, kickstarting an impactful campaign that led to hundreds of collaborations with contemporary artists.
Absolut Citron inspires the creation of the Cosmopolitan at The Odeon
Absolut Citron inspires the creation of the Cosmopolitan cocktail at The Odéon in NYC. Famed bartender Dale “King Cocktail” DeGroff serves the drink to Madonna at the Rainbow Room. Paparazzi photos of Madonna with the drink incite a cultural sensation and are recreated two years later in a Vanity Fair spread by legendary photographer, Helmut Newton.
Collaborations change the lives of emerging artists
Artist Ron English’s design for an Absolut Art ad propels him to fame. “The Absolut thing completely changed my life,” he said. “Before that, I had spent years living in dire poverty on Avenue D in Manhattan. I couldn’t even get galleries to look at my work.”
An underdog, Absolut sweeps the advertising awards
The American Marketing Association awards TWBA the prestigious Grand Effie Award for having the most innovative and effective advertising campaign of the year. A year later, Magazine Publishers of America awards TBWA the Stephen E. Kelly Award, making Absolut the only product in history to have won the two most prestigious prizes in the U.S. advertising industry.
Absolut creates an Album Art platform connecting fans with legends of music
The “Absolut Album Covers” campaign launches in collaboration with David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, and Miles Davis, integrating their album art into an online tool that anyone could access and use to create their own personal album covers.
Local artists create cheeky ads that personify global cities
Ripped from magazines and plastered on walls, ads like Absolut LA, Absolut Hong Kong, and Absolut Berlin celebrate local pride with a cheeky, unpretentious wink. Building on this city repetoire, Absolut launches flavours inspired by the personalities of global cities.
Absolut Art Award funds artists dream projects
To mark 30+ years of collaborating with 600+ artists in 75+ countries on ad campaigns and marketing activations like Art Bars, Absolut adds patronage into the mix with the Absolut Art Award, which funds artists’ dream projects.
Absolut Art launches as its own e-tail venture to bring our 30 year heritage with 600+ artists in 75 countries directly to your walls
Absolut’s first brand extension is launched. Venturing into art e-tail, Absolut Art’s mission is to democratize access to art. Sustainably. At scale. Worldwide. Embodying Absolut’s core tenets - sourcing locally and connecting global audiences with artists - the Absolut Art team reimagines everything from discovering art to displaying it, for pe - ople in need of a smart, inspiring way to upgrade their walls.