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For most people there is probably one vodka brand that is top of mind: Absolut Vodka. I don’t even drink vodka, but I love this brand. It has a personality – it is fun, quirky, sometimes sexy, often outrageous. It has noticeability, talk-ability. You’ll stop and look at an Absolut ad or billboard, because you know there’s something – a hidden message, a play on words, a design trick… and the execution is always intelligent.
Absolut Vodka is produced only in Åhus, in southern Sweden. Since its launch in 1979, Absolut Vodka has achieved worldwide sales growth from 10,000 nine-litre cases (90,000 litres) to 11.0 million nine-litre cases in 2010 (99.0 millions of litres). That has made it the third or fourth best-selling refined spirit in the world.
Heck, there are even fans with fan-pages – not only on Facebook – try www.absolutad.com, or www.absolutads.com. There have been spoofs and parodies, of course, which – as we know – is the sincerest form of flattery. It also underscores the brand’s impact on pop culture.
Instead of spending fortunes on logo design, the product, with its distinctive bottle shape, is the star. We all know the familiar spotlight-design pack-shot, along with a simple, two-word headline, using ‘Absolut’ as an adjective. Print ads are carefully placed in publications that are consistent with class, quality and style. Apart from the distinctive single page ads, Absolut has also experimented with ‘Collections’ – like the Seven Sins: separate pages throughout the publication, with the distinctive bottle artfully portraying Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Greed, Envy, Wrath and Pride, and an eighth with a halo over the bottle, labelled “Absolut Seven”.