Captain Morgan: Live like the Captain? No thanks…

This professor was surprised last night to see a Captain Morgan’s ad’ in between a break for the England-Ukraine football international. Not only does it seem odd to see a spirits ad in media usually dominated by beer advertising, but there was something so forced about the away the spiced rum was trying to push it’s way into the male mindset.

Based on the male-stereotype of the “so-desperate-to-escape-to-the-pub-that-he’ll-pass-up- a- jacuzzi-with-his-girlfriend” boyfriend, the “Live like Captain Morgan” TVC shows the various stand-ins put in place by these pub-depseradoes in attempt to distract their other halves from discovering their actual whereabouts. Tricks include a totem pole in the shower and a stuffed gorilla in a hot tub.

As well as just fueling the idea that having a girlfriend means no pub time and being so badly dubbed it might as well have no dialogue, this advert is just annoying for the way it steps on WKD territory. Where WKD has succeeded with it’s “show your wicked side” campaign is its use of ironic self-deprecation, the Captain Morgan’s ad fails is the way it button holes men into pub going rum drinkers.

Looking into the brand’s comms a bit further however, I am curious to know why the brand hasn’t pushed some of the ideas it is currently using online. It’s Youtube channel is supporting young and up-coming musicians, why hasn’t it carried this approach into its above the line? This is most likely to be because of the Jack Daniel’s music dominance in the UK, but if the brand were so content on repeating such a typical advertising formula, why not go for something which has a little more depth?!

See why this Professor is so miffed right here- this German version explains the UK dubbing problems:


Posted in Rum, U.K. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The fatted Grouse

The Famous Grouse has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest bottle of whisky ever made. In celebration of their 107th birthday, The Famous Grouse has produced a 228 litre bottle of blended whisky, smashing their 200 litre target, and crushing the previous Jack Daniels 184 litre record out the window! The bottle is a staggering 5 ft 3 inches tall, and took 3 hours to fill. There’s a challenge to anyone willing – empty it faster! Who knows what they really plan to do with this bottle. But whether it’s taken to a party to make things messy, or left for show as a work of art in the Famous Grouse Experience lobby as they currently plan, it is definitely a bottle worth reckoning with!

Posted in U.K., Whisky | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Jack Daniel’s goes for gold

Even though London 2012 has every sort of sponsor you can imagine, from energy to snacks, I doubt very much that there was the opportunity for a brand to become “Official alcohol partner of London 2012”. Aside from the Champagne houses probably getting very excited over this idea, looking at Jack Daniel’s latest press ad, the Bourbon may have given the likes of Moet and Bollinger a run for their money.

Using the Olympics to drive awareness of the liquor’s numerous accolades, JD has added to it’s campaign with this tactical.

As well as getting a pat-on-the-back for yet another strong outdoor ad from JD, the brand should also get some credit for managing to get the words “gold”, “medal” and “London” into the same piece of long copy.

Posted in U.S., Uncategorized, Whisky | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ballantine’s goes for the glow

Blended whisky Ballantine’s Finest last month launched a new bottle and label design for the on-trade market. Following the success of it’s Equalizer bottle, the Pernod Ricard brand has recruited French designer Francois Brument to create the next step in its unique bottle designs. The new label cleverly emphasises Ballantine’s “night-time” identity by reacting to changes in the light. Brument has also created 12 limited edition textured “feature” bottles, (characteristic of some of his other work), which are more on a par with the previous Equalizer bottles, which surely attracted many collectors when they went on sale at concept store Colette.

Posted in France, Whisky | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Stoli starts with an Absolut blank?

The flavoured vodka brand, Stolichnaya, (Stoli for short), has recently launched a new TVC campaign showcasing the “Most Original Night”. Through the eyes of director Jonas Akerlund, (famous for making videos for Lady Gaga and Madonna), we see how Stoli vodka literally brings colour to your night as a group of party goers dressed completely in white are sprayed with paint as they sip on specially infused flavoured vodka cocktails.


The TVC leads with the idea that the “Most Original People deserve the Most Original Vodka”, and its clear that Stoli are trying to combat the Absolut and Smirnoff prominence in the category of flavoured vodkas. The media choice alone shows a concerted effort by the brand to push itself to the forefront of young consumers minds, with the TVC appearing on main terrestrial channels during prime time shows.

In my mind, the ad’s party vibe along with the use of a giant white surface being spattered with paint is verging on Absolut Blank territory. Whilst the soundtrack, “Blessed” by Tom Hangs, adds the club feel necessary of lower-end vodkas. Nevertheless, by targeting the idea of orginality, Stoli are able to connect with hipsters who like nothing better than thinking they are original or breaking away from the norm, with a chili or honey flavoured vodka, for example.

In short, I like this ad. It makes me want to go out with my friends and get covered in paint. Whether it makes me want to drink a flavoured vodka is another matter, but it does make me want to do something different and original, which is exactly what I think these guys are after.

Posted in U.K., U.S., Vodka | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Macallan and the Masters of Photography

In July the Macallan will launch the third installment of its Masters of Photography series. This time the brand has teamed up with the prolific American photographer, Annie Leibowitz, who follows in the footsteps of previous partnerships with Rankin and Albert Watson.  No stranger to luxury brands, having previously worked with Louis Vuitton, Leibowitz’s involvement with Macallan’s project clearly cements luxury art credentials, further emphasising its claim that it is “the last word in luxury”.

Macallan’s project asked Leibowitz to interpret the emotion of the new whisky blends through the lens and the results are 4 vignettes, entitled, “The Gallery”, “The Bar” (shown here), “The Library” and “The Skyline”, shot in true sun-kissed Leibowitz style. These photographs are already leading Macallan’s global press advertising and the behind-the-scenes footage provide valuable content for the brand online.

Heading to the dedicated website, as well as being able to register your interest in the limited edition blends, users can also upload their photos to the 2012 Masters of Photography competition and register interest in purchasing a bottle of one of 4 limited edition blends which will officially be on sale at the start of July, with an RRP of £1,700.

Posted in U.K., Whisky | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Whisky heist film wins at Cannes

A film named after the 2 % of whisky which evaporates annually from each cask before bottling has won the Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival. The Angel’s Share, directed by Ken Loach, tells the story of Robbie, a new father living in Glasgow who along with a group of men who he meets whilst on community service, plot to steal a rare barrel of whisky valued at £1 million.

Have a look at the trailer below to see what all the fuss is about :

Posted in U.K., Whisky | Tagged , , | Leave a comment