Another quiet, and humble comment on an advert, to kick off my thoughts in 2011. Although the campaign has been in the pipe line since November, perhaps behind the times on this occasion, tonight whilst perusing The Evening Standard (and I promised I’d buy the i paper) my gaze was unashamedly attracted by this advert for Kleenex; the naked upper body of Linford Christie and the not so subtle tagline ‘I’ve Got A Tiny Packet’
Kleenex suggested the new campaign aims to appeal to the male audience, in an attempt to encourage men with a cold to buy the new slim design packs. However, spending £500,000 on publicising the naked torso of a retired athlete seems to me completely transparent. Fortunately, after using Kleenex as a case study in university, I’m comfortable in believing women buy the tissues, not men, no matter how bad the man flu and no matter how small the package (sorry, packet) and after this campaign - I can’t see that changing.
Whilst on the tube home this evening, and carefully peering over the shoulder of the balding man next to me, what caught my eye on the right hand side of his Evening Standard was an advert for Bell’s Whiskey, simply the bottle with the strapline 'Don't just talk, Tell the Story.' Strange, I thought, what’s that got to do with whiskey, or scotch? The next page revealed an advert for Gordon’s gin, ‘Don’t just finish your day, start your evening.’ (Aha…) The third and final advert was for, Smirnoff Vodka - the tagline escapes me, clearly memorable.
The campaign, presumably for the lead up to Christmas, whilst does admittedly make sense struck me as odd. In a category where brand truths and stories are important; the consumer buys not only the spirit, but what the spirit represents, Diageo’s new solution to market their brands seems to be impersonal and blatantly clear. They are not pretending to care where their product comes from or what it means. The campaign, to me, transforms the drinks into products, lifting the whiskey away from it’s ageing process, the vodka from it’s oh so pure and partying image, and the gin from that infamous chef…
Diageo routinely plough millions into their advertising campaigns, across tv, cinema, press, etc etc, and whilst it does work, with the company owning some of the most commercially successful brands, for me, it just seems so shallow - using the same message across their core brands clearly showing a lack of faith in the products, more the message “Whatever you want to drink tonight, drink…this”
Last week London was taken over (even more so than usual) by bartenders, brands and booze fans alike (N.B admiral alliteration.) Cocktail Week invaded all areas of London to entice and share mixology tips, garnish art and even chicken infused Mezcal (I kid you not); essentially there was something for everyone.
The schedule was jam packed, brimming with both commercial brands and independent distillers eager to impress the lushes of London. Wednesday evening, in a half empty Shoreditch Town Hall - bottles and brand ambassadors lured trade and the public in, to try various liquers and spirits, and amongst the many vodkas, tequillas etc there were three particular brands that stood out, and not because their advertising budgets impressed, but because their spirits were enjoyable and most importantly memorable. So here they are, three to add to the liquor cabinet.
1.) Sipsmith Barley Vodka - One of the first new Vodka distillers in London (a modest home in Hammersmith) in almost 200 years, the notes on this spirt are sweet and well rounded, and nothing close to the low budget vodka you might experience if you were there. www.sipsmith.co.uk
2.) Chase Marmalade Vodka - Although a rather respectable brand in it’s own right, to celebrate their 2nd anniversary of the Chase Original Vodka, this pretty much sold out specialty vodka has been marinaded with marmalade, and then infused with extra oranges to give this a delightful and rather moreish taste. www.chasedistillery.co.uk
3.) Bloom Gin - Marketed for the ladies, and not as mascara thinner as Dylan Moran might believe, notes of violet and juniper come through beautifully; notice the lack of burn on the back of the throat, to be enjoyed with tonic, or without… www.bloomgin.com
Nostalgia, and a good strong cuppa…
The recession. A nice opportunity for those brands lacking in creative funds and mindset to relive sentiments and imagery from the past. The last couple of years have seen brands such as Hovis and Fairy Liquid rely on family nostalgia, and historical strengths to deliver the messages that support their brands. It got ever so slightly tedious, in my personal opinion. But, and not one to admit hypocrisy, the new Tetley campaign delivers a warming feeling that can, perhaps be only associated with that steaming mug of brew.
A fuzzy memory from childhood, the faces of Sydney and Gaffer permit the (personal favourite) tea bag choice an opportunity to be talking point again. Gone are the slightly comical Tetley Red Bush adverts, and instead a troupe of animated folk persistent to bring the past back to our sets. Bring on the hobnobs…
Foals Cover Swedish House Mafia - The One…
Not quite a music blog today, but something I just came across via hypem.com (a wonderful site I’d recommend if you haven’t discovered it already…) One of my favourite bands covering what was without a doubt this years summer anthem, revamped and reworked continuously by various dubstep, D&B and house DJs and producers.
What I love about this version is it’s simplicity, the carnival vibes, and of course, the infamous signature Foals sound that is rife throughout. Enjoy!