Nearly 40 Years Later, Absolut Bottles Andy Warhol's 'Blue'

Painting surfaced in 2020

An Andy Warhol painting, believed lost for decades, has risen—like a campy, cerulean phoenix—to make headlines and power Absolut's latest ad campaign.

The artwork in question—rendered in hues of blue—depicts one of the brand's vodka bottles. Absolut tapped Warhol to create the piece in 1985, along with a second, more colorful representation.

The latter was immortalized in a famous print and billboard series. But the blue version wasn't used at the time. In fact, the silk-screen's whereabouts long remained unknown, and its existence lapsed into legend.

Until the gem surfaced at an auction in 2020.

Now, it fronts an Absolut initiative from The Mix Stockholm and Parapix director Santiago Sierra Soler. The push includes limited-edition bottles, videos, OOH elements and retail displays.

Absolut | Warhol Blue

"Warhol was a big supporter of Absolut's mission," says VP, marketing Matt Foley. "And now that the 'blue' painting has finally been rediscovered, we're excited to honor his legacy with this new bottle as a way for consumers to have a piece of his art in their homes."

And you won't have to pay six figures.

The painting itself will be exhibited as part of a Warhol show at Stockholm's Spritmuseum in October.

In the future, all of us may become world-famous for 15 minutes. But Andy's cultural relevance—and power to boost brands—will never wind down.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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