This month sees the global launch of Absolut Originality, the Swedish vodka brand's latest collection of unique limited edition bottle designs.
Building on its creative design heritage, each bottle of Absolut Originality is another one-of-a-kind work of art; each of the four million bottles has an individual design created by adding a drop of cobalt blue to the glass bottle.
Following the success of Absolut Unique last year, Absolut has one again turned to its bottle manufacturer Ardagh Glass to extend the one-of-a-kind concept with another creative bottle design which, this time reaffirms the Absolut brand’s signature cobalt blue colour. The new cutting-edge design has been created by releasing a drop of cobalt blue into the clear glass, which is added just as the molten glass goes into the mould at 1100°C. At that temperature, the cobalt is invisible, but as the glass cools off, a blue infusion appears inside the glass of each bottle and each time in an original way.
Using partial colouring for what is believed to be the first time on a commercial l scale in the glass container industry, Ardagh has helped Absolut to enchant its customers with yet another cutting edge limited collection of four million individually designed bottles. Each one represents a unique work of art, achieved with a ‘drop’ of cobalt blue infused into the molten glass at the ‘hot-end’ of the production process in Limmared.
“We are proud to have partnered Absolut in this innovative development for their 2013 end of year campaign,” remarks Johan Gorter, CEO, glass Europe at Ardagh. He adds: “The concept takes unique bottle design to the next level, where the decoration is achieved within the glass container, rather than being added to the outer surface of the bottle after production.”
To succeed in this challenging project required a combination of skills from Ardagh and its partners, which, in common with the Absolut Unique project, took high volume glass container production to new levels of ingenuity and distinction.
Using a carefully prepared cobalt colour compound (frit) supplied by Ferro, and specialised hot end equipment from Füller Glastechnologie, Ardagh’s highly skilled workforce was able to perfect the colouring process over the course of several demanding trials, and then produce the 4 million bottles during an intensive three week period.
“The results are fantastic,” comments Mathias Westphal, global brand director at Absolut. He adds: “We took inspiration from traditional Swedish glass craft and made it available to the world. When we watched a drop of cobalt sink into the hot glass for the first time we didn’t know what it would look like. But the very first bottle looked amazing, and what started as a playful experiment ended up as four million one-of-a-kind works of art.
“The streak of cobalt forms a sophisticated contrast to the crystal clear glass, and the blue makes each bottle unmistakably Absolut.”
Absolut Originality is now available across the UK on- and off-trade with an RRP of £18.35.
Pernod Ricard UK is supporting the launch of Absolut Originality with a raft of marketing activity including an outdoor advertising campaign throughout London; digital activity where consumers are able to add their own drop of originality to the bottle through a socially powered production line at a new website www.addyourdrop.com <http://www.addyourdrop.com> ; social takeovers of the Absolut channels; and a PR collaboration with emerging fashion designer Kitty Joseph, who has created an original, three piece capsule collection and accessories inspired by the new limited edition bottle, with a limited number being available at Selfridges online. To celebrate the release, Absolut is also working closely with the on- and off-trade to create bespoke and tailored activity, which will run throughout October.
Off-trade support includes in-store POS for the grocery and impulse channels including a ‘win your dream holiday’ neck tag where consumers can add their own drop of originality to a dream holiday, in-store sampling for the grocery channel, outdoor posters for impulse, and POS kits for the independent channel.
Tailored activity for the on-trade includes an Absolut Originality chemistry kit for bars to encourage their customers to get involved and be inspired by the new bottle. Using apparatus such as measuring beakers and pipettes, consumers can add a drop of cobalt blue to their drink to create their own unique Originality effect. As well as this, 250,000 pipettes will be distributed to the trade along with specially produced cobalt blue liqueur, allowing consumers to add their drop of Originality to their favourite Absolut drinks.
In addition, a range of Absolut Originality cocktails, that raise the bar for cutting-edge mixology, have been developed. Furthermore, a partnership with B@1 bars across London will involve a tour of the Absolut Originality Instagram printer, which will encourage consumers to take pictures of their cocktail creations and moments of Originality in bar, post them online using #addyourowndrop, and print them live in the B@1 venue they are in.
“Absolut is renowned for its innovative approach to limited editions and Absolut Originality is no exception. This new limited edition celebrates the original cobalt blue colour that has such a strong association with our brand, playing back into our creative roots”, says Adam Boita, marketing controller for Pernod Ricard UK. “Consumers love our limited editions, and we have developed a raft of solutions for the on- and off-trade, which will support the launch and ensure that our loyal fans will once again be proud to add our latest limited edition to their collection.”
ABSOLUT ORIGINAL SWIRL
2 parts Absolut Vodka
Top with tonic water
Build over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a blue swirl liqueur filled pipette
ABSOLUT BLUE VELVET
2 parts Absolut Vodka
2/3 part Orange Curacao/Triple Sec
3/4 part Velvet Falernum
1 part Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Egg White
Blue Popping Candy and Blue Skull Candy
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with blue popping candy or blue skull candy.
ABSOLUT PISTACHIO MOUSTACHIO
2 parts Absolut Vodka
1 part Coffee
1 part Condensed Milk
2 Scoops Pistachio Ice Cream
Shake (very hard) and strain into a paper cup over cubed ice.
7 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor
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