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absolut-brown-paper-bag_smallAt first, the ideas centered around the traditional Swedish origins of the brand. There were a number of early suggestions including “Swedish Blonde Vodka”, with pillaging Vikings on the label and “Royal Court Vodka”, a frosted carafe. There was even a bottle wrapped in paper. None of these ideas was felt to adequately communicate the product and its tradition. Marketing surveys carried out showed that the time was definitely right for a premium vodka. There was a clearly discernible consumer trend towards “white” spirits as opposed to “brown” spirits; clearer spirits were seen as being purer and healthier. There was a niche for premium vodka waiting to be developed. But the question of how to package and market it still remained. American experts were called in. They recommended modern-looking packaging with a bright, colorful label that would stand out on the shelf. They recommended a royal touch, mimicking so many of the “Czar themes” on the market at the time. The Swedish team was less than thrilled. Gradually, they came to realize that the answer was much the same as the concept created a 100 years earlier by Lars Olsson Smith.


absolut_vodka_1liter_mrk_hi1The breakthrough came when a bottle was finally chosen. Like many breakthroughs it came purely by chance and in retrospect seems almost too obvious. Advertising man Gunnar Broman was looking through an antique shop window in Stockholm’s “Old Town” when he saw an old Swedish medicine bottle, a cultural icon unchanged for more than a hundred years. The bottle was elegant, different, simple and very Swedish. In the 16th and 17th centuries vodka had been sold in pharmacies as medicine to cure everything from colic to the plague. The choice was a stroke of genius. Several Swedish designers were given the job of helping the Absolut Vodka team further develop the bottle. It had been decided that there should be no label to hide the crystal clear contents. After much discussion and several prototypes the team came to the conclusion that some kind of colored lettering was required. Blue was decided upon as a the most visible and attractive color, the color that is still used today for the famous Absolut Vodka logo. This new version of the old Swedish medicine bottle was soon hailed as a masterpiece of modern glass design. The timeless shape, the clean lines, the exceptionally clear glass, made using special low iron content sand – all contribute to a special feeling of clarity and simplicity. And clarity has always been a key word for Swedish premium vodka ever since it was introduced by Lars Olsson Smith more than a century ago.


The famous designer Konstantin Grcic created the new glass collection for Absolut Vodka. It is an exclusive design, which has been presented the first time during the Fiera del Design 2008, in Milan. Grcic wanted to reproduce the charm of Absolute’s icon: the bottle. He wanted to transmit, in his project the simplicity and elegance: “I believe I have created and pure and modern object, that appears a natural elegance. The glass used is so refined that it represents the real essence of glass.” Absolut Grcic is a series of four glasses inspired by traditional Swedish pharmaceutical products. It is a practical, functional, light and transparent design, destined to all most exclusive bars of the world.


“We needed a new concept for our glass collection, which has always been an important and strategic complement for the visibility of the brand in the world’s coolest bars.”



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