Absolut Vodka launches limited edition Warhol bottle for GTR-exclusive run

By Benedict Evans |

The limited-edition bottle will be rolled out across more than 50 additional global markets from September.

TRBusiness was on location to learn more about Absolut Vodka’s latest limited-edition bottle in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Launching today exclusively in global travel retail, and inspired by the rediscovery of Warhol’s Absolut Vodka ‘blue’ painting, the new bottle comes almost 40 years after Absolut Vodka (Absolut) first collaborated with the American artist, who was in fact the first artist to collaborate with the vodka brand.

The Absolut Warhol limited-edition 1L bottles will retail for $24, and will be available for sale exclusively for two months in GTR, before being rolled out in over 50 global markets from September 2024 in both 1L and 700ml bottle sizes.

Speaking at the pre-launch showcase in London, attended by TRBusiness and other members of the media, Liya Zhang, VP of Global Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (PRGTR) noted: “This is the first time in many years we’re pushing travel retail, because we believe not only in its power to enhance visibility for the brand, but also its impact in driving engagement with a new generation of travellers.”

To mark the launch, an Absolut Warhol pop-up has been launched at Amsterdam Airport, and Absolute said the new release will be supported by a series of immersive activations, including 3D OOH media, high  in-airport promotional spaces and in-store display units at some of the world’s busiest airports.

“For us it’s about storytelling, to be able to stay relevant in culture. Because this is a limited edition, the focus is not on the commercial side. It’s more about the opportunity for the brand to stay relevant and cultural,” added Deb Gasgupta, VP Global Marketing for Absolut.

Now part of the Absolut Art Collection, the painting will be unveiled at Stockholm’s Spritmuseum on 17 October 2024 – home to roughly 850,000 artworks curated over a 45-year span – as the centrepiece of a new exhibition, titled ‘Andy Warhol, Money On The Wall’, curated by art historian and Warhol biographer, Dr Blake Gopnik.

Absolute commissioned a Warhol-inspired Milk Punch cocktail – a blend of Absolut and cocoa butter, banana liquor, lemon juice and cornflake-infused milk – inspired by Warhol’s love of breakfast cereal cornflakes. FYI, it’s really smooth.

Consumers can access a masterclass on how to make the new signature cocktail via a scannable QR code on the side of the bottle.

The pre-launch showcase also featured a short commercial directed by Mexican director Santiago Sierra Soler, which attempts to depict the cultural legacy of the ‘blue painting’, and the importance of the collaboration, featuring several references to the shared history of Absolut Vodka and Warhol.

“It’s about the past and the future,” said Soler, adding: “Right now we are living an an ecosystem of images and brands with this cross-pollination between what is art and what is commercial, which is exactly what Warhol was doing.”

This limited-edition bottle has a visually layered aesthetic due to its multi-layered screen-printed design. The bottle combines both internal and external design components, with Warhol’s rediscovered Absolut ‘blue’ painting from 1985 visible no the interior of the bottle.

The final details include an image of Warhol himself alongside his original signature.

READ MORE: Absolut highlights sustainability commitments with Arlanda installation

READ MORE: TRBusiness Summit Shorts: Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail

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