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Absolut: Biography of a Bottle

Hamilton, Carl

43 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1587991373 / ISBN 13: 9781587991370
Published by New York: Texere, 2000, New York, 2002
Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Bienville Books (Baton Rouge, LA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Paper Wraps. Fine/No Jacket, As Issued. 5.75 x 9". Dark-gray wrappers with title on front cover, and the words "Advance Uncorrected Proof" across the top. Near-new condition, with only a very light crease on front panel and three light creases to back panel. The story of how Absolut Vodka was created and promoted, translated from the Swedish by Scott Clarke and Steven Leto. "One of the most successful, memorable advertising campaigns ever," this is the controversial story behind Absolut and the marketing campaign that has made it one of the world's leading brands. 275 pages. This is an advance uncorrected proof from 2000; the book was published in 2002. Size: 5.75 x 9". Bookseller Inventory # 000670

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Absolut: Biography of a Bottle

Publisher: New York: Texere, 2000, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paper Wraps

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket, As Issued

Edition: Advance Uncorrected Proof.

About this title


This book is the "official story" of how Absolut Vodka came to be. Carl Hamilton found that publishing this book in Swedish would cost him his job at a prestigious economics institute. When he published an expanded version of a research project based on a research project commissioned by the liquor company, Vin and Spirit, he lost his job at the Stockholm School of Economics. His book credits Absolut's huge popularity to the "little guys" rather than to the suits at large ad agencies. This book is the Liar's Poker of marketing, revealing the sordid stories behind the official one.


Gunnar Broman, head of Sweden's top ad agency, traveled to New York in 1978 to sell his distinguished counterparts at N.W. Ayer on a locally produced vodka that didn't yet exist. The very idea of Swedish vodka was an oxymoron at the time, anyway, for everyone knew back then that real vodka came exclusively from Russia. Sweden had been distilling the beverage since 1467, though, and Broman had a briefcase full of ideas with him on the trip for pushing a soon-to-be-developed version in the U.S. He brought plenty of slides along to illustrate them, and even had several solid plastic bottles made up to demonstrate exactly how they would look on store shelves. One, in particular, captured the New Yorkers' attention: a plump vessel with "no label, no decorations, and no neck." Etched on its otherwise totally clear container, in pure silver, was the legend "Pure Absolut Vodka." Someone joked that it looked like a sterile medicine bottle, but the Americans' interest was piqued. And, with it, Absolut Vodka was on its way. Absolut, by Swedish writer, TV host, and political commentator Carl Hamilton, is the story of the now widely popular alcoholic beverage--housed in what became the liquor industry's most well known bottle--and how it came to conquer the States. It's a captivating and well-told tale of a bold business proposition that grew into a serious cultural phenomenon. --Howard Rothman

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