Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka

Infobox Beverage
name=Absolut Vodka

manufacturer=V&S Group
origin=Åhus, Skåne Sweden
proof= 80
related= List of vodkas

Absolut Vodka is a Swedish brand of vodka, produced near Åhus, Scania, in southern Sweden. In March 2008, the Swedish government, owner of Absolut through its V&S Group, sold Absolut to the French firm Pernod Ricard.

Building on a four century tradition of producing vodka at Åhus, Absolut was introduced in 1879 by the entrepreneur Lars Olsson Smith. Absolut is the third largest brand of alcoholic spirits in the world after Bacardi and Smirnoff, marketed in 126 countries. The largest export market is the United States where close to 73 million litres were sold in 2003. More than 40% of the imported vodka in the United States is Absolut.

Origin of name

The name "Absolut" was introduced in 1879 by the entrepreneur Lars Olsson Smith. Smith introduced fractional distillation that produces liquor without fusel alcohol in Sweden in 1877, under the name "Tiodubbelt Renadt Bränvin" (Tenfold Purified Vodka). Brännvin literally means "burnt wine" and is analogous to the German "Branntwein". The term is also used in Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic. ("Vodka" was not used for Swedish liquor until 1958, with the potato-based Explorer Vodka.) The name was changed to "Absolut Rent Bränvin" (Absolutely Pure Vodka) by Smith to market his much improved product. Smith challenged the city of Stockholm's liquor marketing monopoly with his superior vodka. It was sold at a lower price than the monopoly's product, just outside the city border. Smith even offered free boat rides to the distillery and "Rent Bränvin" made Smith a fortune. In 1917, the alcohol industry in Sweden was monopolized by the Swedish government. Vodka was then sold nationwide under the name "Absolut Rent Brännvin". The name changed with intervals, Renat Brännvin or Absolut Rent Brännvin. In 1979, the old name Absolut was picked up when the upper-price range Absolut Vodka was introduced. "Renat" is still a euphemism for spirits in Sweden, and the name of another vodka product by Vin & Sprit.


Absolut Vodka is available in many varieties.
*Absolut VODKA (40%, blue label)
*Absolut VODKA (50%, red label)
*Absolut PEPPAR (Roasted Jalapenos, Green Tomato and Dried Herbs flavor – the first flavoured Absolut Vodka, launched in 1986)
*Absolut CITRON (Lemon flavour launched in 1988)
*Absolut DISCO (normal absolut vodka, blue label, in a special edition disco cover)
*Absolut BLING-BLING (normal absolut vodka, limited edition golden bottle).
*Absolut KURANT (Blackcurrant flavour launched in 1992)
*Absolut MANDRIN (Orange and mandarin flavour mix launched in 1999)
*Absolut VANILIA (Vanilla flavour launched in 2003)
*Absolut RASPBERRI (Raspberry flavour launched in 2004)
*Absolut APEACH (Peach flavour launched in 2005)
*Absolut RUBY RED (Grapefruit flavour launched in June 2006).
*Absolut PEARS (Pear flavour launched in January 2007).
*Absolut NEW ORLEANS (Mango and Black Pepper flavour launched in August 2007). This is a special edition in an annual city themed series. 100% of the profits go toward various Gulf Coast charities.
*Absolut C'N'C Fashion Animal (limited edition by Ennio Capasa] launched in 2007)
*Absolut 100 (100 proof, black bottle, flavour launched in 2007)
*Absolut MANGO (Mango flavour, launched in February 2008)
*Absolut LOS ANGELES (Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate, and Blueberry flavour mix launched in July 2008). This is the 2nd in the city themed series. Absolut is donating $250,000 from the sale of Absolut Los Angeles to Green Way LA. [http://www.absolut.com/campaign/absolutla/charity]

* Absolut LEVEL, launched in 2004, is a super-premium vodka created and sold by but marketed separately from Absolut.


Much of Absolut's fame is due to its long-running advertising campaign, created by advertising agency TBWA, based on the distinctive bottle shape. Having started around 1980 with photographer Steven Bronstein, and with more than 1500 ads, the ad campaign is the longest running ever.Fact|date=April 2008 The ads frequently feature an Absolut bottle-shaped object in the center and a title "ABSOLUT ____." at the bottom. The original idea for the campaign came from South African art director Geoff Hayes who reported that the idea for the first Absolut ad, Absolut Perfection, came to him in the bathtub. A number of art directors and copywriters added to the campaign in the early years including: Graham Turner, Denise Dell Harbin, Dave Warren, Tom McManus, Everet Cilliars, Steve Feldman, Harry Woods, Arnie Arlow, and Peter Lubalin.

Gay-themed advertising

Absolut was one of the first consumer brands to openly embrace the gay community and view its members as important and desirable consumers of its product. Its ads have appeared in gay media since 1981, and the company has long sponsored major gay events, including the 2000 fall line of Tom of Finland clothing. In one such ad, a film lupe and film canisters are stacked to form the distinctive shape of the Absolut bottle. The canisters are labeled with the titles of gay films, including "Stonewall," "Boys Life," "Nitrate Kisses," "Show Me Love," and others. The caption reads "Absolut Achievement". The ad appeared in gay film festivals sponsored by the brand. Absolut Vodka has also been the official corporate sponsor of the GLAAD Media Awards for many years. [ [http://www.glaad.org/media/release_detail.php?id=3775& GLAAD: GLAAD Announces Nominees for 16th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by Absolut Vodka ] ]

A Vodka Movie

Zach Galifianakis, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim were commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a film for their website. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p0QtJMKt1s YouTube - A Vodka Movie by Zach Galifianakis, Tim and Eric ] ]

pecial editions

Absolut Vodka created a special edition bottle of 40% vodka in 2003 designed by Romero Britto. Fact|date=August 2008

Advertising campaigns

Absolut Statehood

In 1991 Absolut began an art commissioning program to select artists from all 50 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. Absolut Vodka arranged to run full-page ads in USA Today with images of the commissioned works every two weeks. Artists selected included Romero Britto, Jon Coffelt, Burton Morris and Rev. Howard Finster. A limited edition of 300 lithographs of each work were sold to raise funds for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. As a commemoration to this campaign, "Absolut Statehood: 51 Painters, Visions of Their Home States" a book by Glenn O'Brien, was published with a foreword by Michel Roux of Carillon Importers with photography by Antonio Alia Guccione. 51 Absolut Statehood artists were interviewed by Peter Tunney and made into a film about the campaign. "Absolut To The People," a Peter Tunney Film, was simulcast in New York and Hong Kong in March 1993.

Absolut Tracks

Since 2005, Absolut has offered "Absolut-Tracks": one base song ("Breath") by Lenny Kravitz and ten remixes by different musical artist from all over the world, including Luny Tunes, Nikko Patrelakis, Jazzanova, Ashley Beedle and Little Louie Vega. Each track has its own video, and all are available as free downloads.

In An Absolut World

In 2007, Absolut began its "In An Absolut World" campaign in which the company posited various, often fanciful scenarios of what the target audience might think would constitute a perfect, or "Absolut", reality.

In 2008, an Absolut Vodka ad, placed in Mexican publications and on Mexican billboards, featured a map of the U.S. and Mexico with the boundaries between the two as they were prior to the 1836 Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War. Media outlets reported on the reaction amongst some American consumers who claimed offense at what they saw as an ad insensitive to immigration issues. [MSNBC [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24021933/ Absolut Vodka Ad Stirs Up Controversy] 8 April 2008] Absolut initially tried to mollify critics, claiming that the ads were purely whimsical in intent, having no political or nationalist agenda, but its critics were adamant. Absolut later released a public statement and withdrew the ad:

"In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal." [ [http://absolut.com/iaaw/blog/in-an-absolut-world-according-to-mexico In an ABSOLUT World according to Mexico] 4 April 2008]
In response, the U.S.-based SKYY Vodka issued a press release criticizing its competitor's ad campaign, citing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and other reasons. [ [http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080411005171&newsLang=en SKYY® Vodka, Made in the USA, Proudly Supports Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo] ]

Absolut culture

Over the years Absolut has commissioned not only over 300 painters, but leading artists in all fields, including sculptors, glass designers, musicians and fashion designers. Digital art pioneer Laurence Gartel designed a campaign for Absolut Vodka in 1990, joining artists such as painter Andy Warhol and glass artist Hans Godo Frabel.

In 1998, Absolut commissioned famed digital artist and painter, Bill Barminski, to create one of the largest and most expensive bilboards located on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, where it remained for over two years. [cite web |url=http://www.mergefilms.com/ | title=Bill Barminski biography (under directors tab) |year=2008 |accessdate=2008-05-09]

ee also

*Alcohol in Sweden



* [http://www.reimersholms.com/historien_losmith.asp?id=1/ reimersholms.com] About L. O. Smith (V&S Group marketing site) (in Swedish)
*cite web |url=http://www.marknadsdomstolen.se/ | title=On the history of names (in Swedish) |work= /avgoranden2003/Dom03.16.pdf |publisher=Swedish Market Court |year=2005 |accessdate=2005-10-17

External links

* [http://www.absolut.com/ Official site]

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