By: Chris Brook-Carter - 21 April 2004 14:03
Happy Birthday to Absolut Vodka today. Although the drink came of age some while back, today marks 25 years since the first order for Absolut was made from the US.
The first order was for 700 cases and the very first bottle was sold in Boston. In 2003, 72.5m litres of Absolut were shipped to 126 markets around the world. To date, over 1 billion bottles have left the plant in Åhus.
Though its place in marketing history is assured now, success was not always a given and many had their doubts about a Swedish vodka at the time, especially one in a unique clear glass bottle without a paper label, which made it nearly invisible on the shelf in the store.
Even in Åhus, there was some uncertainty about how the product would be received, and to be on the safe side, business started on a small scale. The bottles were filled by hand and each bottle was individually wrapped in tissue paper before being packed in cases and shipped to the US.
But the first ad, Absolut Perfection, was published in 1980 and the rest, as they say, is history. The advertising campaign now is still based on the same concept, has won over 350 awards around the world, and included collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst as well as fashion designers such as Gianni Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier and David Cameron.
In short, an achievement well worth a birthday toast.
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