top performing campaigns in branding and advertising
Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle
Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle

Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle

Despite having no distinctive shape, Absolut made their signature bottles the most recognizable bottles in the world. Their campaign which ran for over a quarter of a century and comprised over 1’500 separate ads, was so successful that they never stopped running it. I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The History of ABSOLUT VODKA

The history of the Absolut Vodka company dates back to 1879, when its founder, Lars Olsson Smith, started selling his vodka just outside the Stockholm city borders, which was cheaper than the monopolist’s in town. He gave away free boat trips to his distillery, and “Rent Brännvin” became his motto. The founder was a true entrepreneur, who understood the importance of being different and of delivering high quality.

In 1917, the Swedish government acquired its control over the country’s alcohol industry. As a result, all production of vodka was placed under a single company, “Absolut Rent Brännvin”.

It was a bold move to introduce Absolut globally after 1979, in a market already filled with giants in the alcoholic spirits industry. They had to find a way to stand out, so they needed to create a strong brand that went beyond their distinctive bottle design. Part of this branding effort was the creation of one of the most recognizable logos in the modern era.

The Campaign

When Absolut Vodka started this campaign, they had only a measly 2.5% share of the vodka market. However, by the time t ended in the late 2000s, they were importing 4.5 million cases per year, or 50% of all imported vodka in the US.

In 1981, an advertising agency created a new campaign for the Absolut Vodka brand. The idea for ABSOLUT VODKA sparked in the bathtub of Geoff Hayes, the TWBA art director, and throughout the years it has become the longest-running campaign in the history of advertising so far.

In today’s oversaturated world of cluttered information, it’s easy to get lost in all the contradictory messages and dozens of adverts seen every day. But the real secret to success is to create an emotional link with your consumers.