Absolut to Distribute 4 Million Absolutely Unique Bottles of Vodka

Since today happens to be the Friday before Labor Day weekend, you’re probably already dreaming of sunshine, barbecues, and cocktails sipped on decks. In that spirit (pun intended), we thought we’d share this bit of boozed-up marketing news.

According to AdAge, Absolut is gearing up to distribute 4 million individually numbered, completely unique bottles across 80 markets including the the U.S., China, France, the U.K., and Germany. The individualized designs use 38 different colors and 51 pattern types, and making them required a complete re-engineering of the company’s production plant in Sweden.

The process, which has been described as “carefully orchestrated randomness,” involved everything from splash guns to pattern algorithms. Jonas Tahiln, VP-global marketing for The Absolut Co., said of the process, “Absolut Unique feels a bit mad scientist, a bit street art…When the bottles first appeared on the conveyer belt, we cheered. By that point the production line looked more like an artist’s studio than a bottle factory.”

This isn’t the first time Absolut has used limited edition bottles in their marketing; as AdAge points out, previous designs include Absolut Glimmer, which was cut to look like it was made out of crystal, and designs inspired by major cities like Absolut London, Absolut Miami and Absolut Brooklyn. Past forays into special edition bottles notwithstanding, the scope and detail of this effort are unprecedented. “Anyone could do one or two unique products,” said Mr. Tahiln, “We’re making close to 4 million.”

So before you enjoy your first cocktail of the long weekend, enjoy this video, which explains the origins of the campaign and the process used to achieve it. In short, if you ever wondered what kindergarten staple “spin art” would look like on an industrial scale, wonder no more!