Absolut Vodka Employs Robots to Make Unique Bottle Designs

For the stunning Absolut Unique bottle designs, as the new edition is called, Absolut Vodka decided to rely on robots, rather than on humans.

Being unique is certainly one of the keys to success, at least as far as marketing campaigns and products go today. Swedish Absolut Vodka, a product that is since 2008 under the umbrella of French group Pernod Ricard, is famous for its bottle designs or supporting materials that had artwork created by famous sculptors, painters, glass designers, musicians and fashion designers. For Absolut Unique, the latest edition of bottles, the company decided not to commission such artists anymore, and to pass the work to robots.

This change was not exactly easy to make. According to the company, “For ABSOLUT UNIQUE, ABSOLUT had to re-engineer its entire production line. It required a complex interaction of human and mechanical elements, and a carefully orchestrated randomness, to achieve the desired end result. Splash guns and color-generating machines were set up and complex coating, pattern and placement algorithms were programmed in to ensure that no two bottles would be alike. Thirty-eight different colors were used, and fifty-one pattern types were applied to the bottles. A striking look was achieved by color contrasts and a white, mat paper label that features each bottle’s unique number.”

Jonas Tåhlin, Vice President Global Marketing at The Absolut Company, declared: “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. These are really striking bottles. Everyone will find a personal favourite.”

Uniqueness is achieved with 5 colors for the splash guns, 16 for the 51 pattern types and 22 colors for the coating. If you wonder what is the chance of getting two similar bottles with those numbers, the answer is 94 quintillion bottles (94 times 10 to the 18th power), according to Mattias Elg, a Quality Management Professor from the Linköping University in Sweden. In other words, each habitant of planet Earth, of legal drinking age or not, would have to go through 13 billion bottles, to pass that gigantic number.

I can see the Absolut Unique vodka bottles becoming collector’s items, in these circumstances. Knowing that there are no two bottles with the same design will certainly make people proud of owning an Absolut Unique recipient.

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