Pernod Ricard Travel Retail has unveiled the new Absolut Unique, a limited edition of about 4 million individually designed and numbered Absolut bottles.

Described as colourful and vibrant, the bottles – pictured in our unique Moodie Magnifier below – were launched on 1 September 2012 in travel retail.

“This is a truly daring, cutting-edge concept that takes our Absolut creative and innovative heritage into a new dimension,” said The Absolut Company Global Travel Retail Director Anders Olsson. “It is a great tribute to our global duty free/travel retail market that we are entrusted with the honour of launching this product before it is released into domestic markets worldwide.”

To create 4 million individually designed bottles, Absolut said it had to re-invent its entire production line. The new production process featured a complex interaction of human and mechanical elements, and what the company described as “a carefully orchestrated randomness”.

Splash guns and colour-generating machines were applied and complex coating, pattern and placement algorithms were programmed to ensure that no two bottles would be alike. Some 38 different colours were used, and 51 pattern types were applied to the bottles.

The striking appearance of each individual bottle was achieved through a radical range of colours contrasting a white paper label which features each bottle’s individual number.

“The result widely exceeded our expectations,” said Olsson. “When the first bottles appeared on the conveyor line, we cheered. By that time, the production line already looked more like an artist’s studio than a bottle factory. Absolut Unique feels a bit “˜mad scientist’, a bit street art, but at the same time very elegant.”

Olsson continued: “Absolut Unique is the perfect personalised gift. Each customer will be able to find her or his favourite and the appearance of the individual bottles gathered on the shelves will be spectacular. We knew from the beginning that this was a great concept. It was the execution that was a tremendous challenge. I can really claim that we have surpassed ourselves with this launch.”

The Absolut Unique launch is backed by a 360-degree marketing campaign in all available media. Regional activations in the travel retail market worldwide include giant, impactful in-store brand installations, tastings of new cocktails, uniformed expert ambassadors, and demonstrations of mixology and the production process to consumers on screens, tablets and other devices.

Following the travel retail launch, Absolut Unique will be introduced in domestic markets starting in October.