Category: Marketing
Marketing, Whisky

The Most Brilliant Liquor Ad of the Year… Isn’t

Dear Brother Johnnie Walker is known for producing some truly stunning, entertaining and evocative short films that masquerade as ads. Scotch ads in general are pretty awesome, but Johnnie's have been the best. I think it is because they leant so far into their mythos. Gently driving images of Scotsmen of indeterminate age but indisputable attractiveness, walking relentlessly across misty Scottish moor and mountain, exuding from every frame a sense of restrained, subtly joyous manliness will evoke the realization that while the Romans may have invented stoicism, the Scots made it worthwhile. Whatever one's consciously identified ethos, just beneath the surface of the mind, all men want to be the characters in Johnnie Walker ads, and all women want to be with them. And their latest ad takes it up a notch... with a twist, several in fact. The foremost is that Johnnie Walker didn't make it. Watch it now. It's only 90 seconds and well worth every one. Don't read on until you do. That folks, is a student-made spec ad from Germany. I'm pretty sure that 90-second amateur videos don't get Oscar consideration for Best Short Film, but this one should. It's a masterpiece of moving picture story-telling. In less time than it takes (me) to whip up a Rob Roy, it tells a complete story of a life well-lived and tragically cut short, of familial love, and devotion, and loss. The cinematography is gorgeous, the camera tricks seamless, the music is perfect, and the words are transfixing. It is the film equivalent of Hemingway's legendary (in every sense of the word) six word short story, "For Sale, baby shoes, never worn." And as an advertisement, it is almost perfect. The story doesn't just touch, it pounds on a central element of human existence that any person of an age to be buying Johnnie Walker has begun to confront, and it inserts the product in a subtle way as a central element to both happiness and healing. Its only flaw is that the brand has changed its slogan and its marketing narrative of late from the Keep Walking that was perfect for this story to one that is less so. Still, I wish Daniel Titz and Dorian Lebherz all the success in the world, in the United States would be preferable. They are the kind of ad makers that can keep me from hitting FFWD on my DVR.abc
Beer, Funny, Marketing, Spokescharacters

The New James Bond Heineken Ad Is Pretty Badass

The new James Bond Heineken ad celebrating Spectre is pretty cool. What I like about this is, it is actually a classic beer ad, i.e. the suggestion that the mere presence of the advertised beer will make your life a fantasy come true. In that way, this Specter ad is very similar to the Skyfall one from 2012. Interestingly, the earlier one was very much in line with the Skyfall spirit: A chase of our hero through dark and somewhat surreal realms. Meanwhile this new one is almost distinctly Roger Moore in character, down to the Hervé Villechaize appearance. I find it hard to believe that Spectre will have quite that level of joie de vivre, though. What do you think?abc
Funny, Marketing, Rule 2, Rule 5, Rum, Spokescharacters

A Heartfelt Plea

Ron Jeremy just doesn't get any respect. This auteur is one of the most prolific actors and directors working in the cinema today. Not to mention the fact that his entire career is one huge blow after another to the pernicious "Lookism" so rampant in the Business. (And by The Business, I do mean The Industry!) Yet, despite these impeccable credentials as film master and social justice icon, and the fact that the evidence of his Jewish upbringing is both enormous and well-documented, the Canadian Powers That Be relentlessly refuse to allow his films to be shown at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival! The video above is Ron's heartfelt and subtle appeal for this ban to end, expressed in a short film, as befitting this heir to Orson Wells. Oh, and I continue to believe that Ron's ron, er, rum is under-appreciated as well. I'm actually serious here. Ron de Jeremy is not at all an all-purpose rum, but it honestly, no shit, makes a wonderful Rum Old Fashioned. And it has one of the more brilliant ad campaigns out there. I can't recommend visiting the website and exploring its offerings enough... especially once you are two or more drinks in. (H/T: Sploid)abc
Gin, Marketing, Rule 2

Watershed and the Container Store

Watershed merchandising at the Container Store I saw a tweet from Watershed Distillery (one of Columbus's two excellent micros) today containing the picture above. It seems that the Container Store has chosen to stick two Watershed bottles (Vodka and Four Peel Gin) in a display in every location in the United States. Well done, guys. It is a well-chosen display, actually. Watershed's minimalist labeling, and square-shouldered bottles go well with the chain's clean-lined aesthetic, and the label colors of these two go well with the shelving and other accessories for the display. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to not have Watershed in your market, don't steal the displays. If you didn't realize yourself, the batch number on these display bottles is "01". I think there are likely more Container Stores in America than there were bottles in batch one of either of these liquids.... Just order yourself some from Binny's. (Mandatory legal disclaimer: My wife owns stock in the Container Store (Symbol: TCS), and I drink a lot of Four Peel....)abc
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