July 1 2024  |  Industry News

On location: Absolut Vodka's limited-edition Warhol Bottle debuts exclusively in TR

By Rebecca Byrne in London, UK

The Absolut Warhol limited-edition 1L bottles will retail for RRP €22 (US$24)

Andy Warhol once mused that everyone would have 15 minutes of fame. In today's fast-paced world, it feels more like 15 seconds, making it essential to create something iconic to truly capture attention. Absolut Vodka's latest collaboration does just that.

At an exclusive launch party, the company unveiled the Warhol Bottle, a limited-edition bottle in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The event provided a fascinating glimpse into how Absolut brings together artists old and new under the theme of unity. At the event a panel comprising Liya Zhang, VP Global Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, Deb Dasgupta, VP Global Marketing for Absolut Vodka, and renowned Director Santiago Sierra Soler discussed the shared history between Absolut and Warhol and the reasoning behind the initial launch into the travel retail market.

From left: Liya Zhang, VP Global Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, Mexican Director and Photographer Santiago Sierra Solar and Deb Dasgupta, VP Marketing Absolut Vodka

The thrill of discovery

Talking on the panel, Zhang, a frequent traveler herself, invited us to join her on a journey that intertwines travel and discovery. She emphasized the excitement of embarking on a new journey at an airport, the anticipation, and the thrill of discovery. This is the moment you often find something unexpected and special, such as the Warhol limited edition bottle. She added that travel isn’t just about moving from one destination to another; it is about discovery and making connections with others, the world, and even oneself. The nature of travel allows for a moment of self-reflection and discovery, fostering a deeper understanding of our place in the world.

When asked about the bottle’s debut in travel retail, Zhang spoke about the significance of this launch for the brand's evolution and its connection with travelers, “We are honored to play our role in connecting Absolut Warhol to the world, igniting this campaign on a global scale. This launch is significant for Absolut in travel retail, where the brand has built an incredible reputation over several decades. Staying true to the spirit of inclusivity, we are delighted that through this partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation, we can democratize art and bring it to all nationalities; delighting existing fans while also recruiting new generations of consumers."

Talking about the link with the artist, Deb Dasgupta, VP Global Marketing for Absolut Vodka, added, “We are thrilled to collaborate with The Andy Warhol Foundation to reintroduce this timeless Absolut Warhol artwork to the public. Embracing our values of inclusivity and a commitment to fostering a culture of boundless creative expression, we aim to unite diverse voices and spark meaningful conversations to inspire positive change through the transformative power of art. With the limited-edition bottle, we are excited to offer consumers everywhere a chance to become part of the Absolut Warhol legacy and to own their own piece of artwork.”

Exclusive travel retail launch

To mark the launch, an Andy Warhol pop-up store will open at Amsterdam Airport. The global activation campaign will bring it to life with immersive 3D OOH media, digital touchpoints, and voice activations at key airports from London to Dubai, from Singapore to Sao Paulo and more.

Speaking exclusively to GTR Magazine, Zhang discussed how the Amsterdam marketing for the Warhol bottle will start in the journey to the airport through a collaboration with Uber. This is not the first time the company has linked with Uber; a trial in Miami garnered much success. She mentioned that while social media has its place in marketing, campaigns face much competition, whereas in the Uber, it talks directly to the customer. A highly successful six month pop up campaign at Changi Airport demonstrated the power of this type of marketing and it will form an instrumental part of the roll out in the Warhol bottle’s GTR campaign. Zhang hinted at future collaborations with artists in the near future.

From left: Pernod Ricard's Liya Zhang with GTR Magazine's Rebecca Byrne at the launch party in London, UK

Absolut has long believed in the unifying power of art. This belief dates back to 1985, when Andy Warhol first created artwork based on the silhouette of Absolut’s iconic apothecary-inspired bottle. His original ‘Absolut Warhol’ painting – a vibrant depiction of the Absolut bottle on a black background – is legendary. For decades, rumors of a second Absolut Warhol painting circulated until ‘Absolut blue’ was rediscovered at auction in 2020. The original contract confirming the two commissioned paintings was also unearthed. This rediscovered piece will be unveiled at Stockholm’s Spritmuseum on October 17, 2024.

Global availability

Starting in September, the limited-edition bottle will be available in over 50 additional global markets. The limited run consists of two million bottles.

The Absolut Warhol limited-edition 1L bottles will retail for RRP €22 (US$24). They will be available for sale exclusively for two months in global travel retail before being rolled out in over 50 global markets from September 2024 in both 1L and 700ml bottle sizes.

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