Absolut Vodka is a contemporary phenomenon. First exported in 1979, Absolut Vodka quickly soared to one of the best-selling premium vodkas in the world today. Absolut Vodka ad collecting has grown enormously over the past 20 years. From eBay to numerous websites, collectors have found finding ads easier and easier.
” Creativity is that simple surprise and delight of seeing familiar things in a new way.“
Absolut Vodka created a whole type of advertising that stretched the boundaries between advertising and art. The ads are all witty variations on the same simple theme: a picture of the Absolut Vodka bottle with a two to three word caption starting with the word Absolut and often saying something complimentary about the product or its consumer. A flash of recognition comes as you make the unlikely connection.
Absolut Vodka’s art commissions differ from traditional sponsorship. Instead of simply donating money to artists, we help promote talent by bringing it into the international spotlight.
Absolut Vodka has become a kind of global art gallery. Chosen artists must display those qualities of taste, refinement and originality that appeal to Absolut Vodka consumers. The artists are given complete creative freedom, the only stipulation being that the bottle must be visible in the work. Selected art sits are usually established or up-and-coming. Sometimes, however, virtual unknowns are commissioned, their work seen for the first time by a large audience.
Such was the case with “Absolut Glasnost”, a collection of works by 26 Soviet artists, many of whom had never had their art exhibited outside what was then the Soviet Union. We worked closely with art associations in Moscow to find artists who would be of international interest. The works appeared in an insert in the magazine Interview, in 1990, the issue timed to coincide with Gorbachov’s visit to the US. Naturally, Gorbachov was presented with the first copy of that issue.