Absolut Tunes Up Online Music Machines

NEW YORK Absolut and its audience are about to make beautiful music together.

The Swedish spirits company on Jan. 31 launches absolutmachines.com, a site where users can instruct multi-instrument devices to play music. The video and audio results will then be streamed, and the audio can be downloaded and shared.

Absolut turned to Boston-based Dan Paluska and Jeff Lieberman, two MIT graduates who create art with technology, to make Absolut Quartet, an orchestral music machine. It is made of several instruments, including a marimba activated by rubber balls shot from a robotic cannon and a set of musical wine glasses played by robotic fingers. Another machine, built by Swedish research development company Teenage Engineering, is called Absolut Choir. It consists of 10 singing robots of varying shapes and sizes.

The machines were developed over the past six months, with the progress being chronicled on absolutmachines.com. The campaign is from Great Works, Sweden, Absolut’s Web agency, while TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, is handling print. Print ads, which will debut at the end of the month, will appear in magazines such as Monocle, Wallpaper and I.D.

The machines will be unveiled at an opening party in Sweden. They will then move to other markets during the year. So far, locations include New York and Mexico.

Since the 1979, when TBWA\C\D introduced the iconic Absolut ads that focused on the shape of the bottle with “Absolut Perfection,” the company has tried to align itself with the creative world. Campaigns have focused on fashion, art and photography.

Previous online efforts have included absolutlomo.com, which asked people to upload pictures taken with a Lomo camera, and Absoluttracks.com, which let visitors download free remixes of artists such as Lenny Kravitz.

“We wanted to have something consumers could interact with,” said Ulrika Lovdahl, global manger for integrated projects, V&S Absolut Spirits. “This year’s campaign is aimed at a niche group, but we can communicate it to whoever’s interested.”