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Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Jack Daniel’s Challenging Competitors to a Branding/PR Fight


Meanwhile around the cooler in the break room…

If you fancy an adult beverage, odds are you have imbibed in a high ball glass full of Jack Daniel’s burning smooth, corn-based recipe. And now that the 148-year-old, Tennessee-based whiskey distillery has a proprietary face and taste in the beverage industry, they want to keep it that way.

And so, Jack Daniel’s is taking the competition to court over the term “Tennessee Whiskey.” Because they can, in case you were wondering.

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Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Dublin Airport to Everyone: ‘It’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s’

tumblr_m4rr0sHhQ81qdscjdo1_1280So today is officially St. Patrick’s Day, or the Western world’s favorite excuse to get a bit toxic (along with New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Graduation Day, President’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, etc. etc.).

What a great time for social media engagement, right?! Last week Dublin Airport—which is somehow not among the top Facebook pages in Ireland—took the opportunity to remind everyone that Mac, Dennis and Charlie got it right: the correct nickname for St. Patrick is St. Paddy, NOT St. Patty.

This is not a new debate, BTW.

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Are You Drunk Enough to Join This ‘Niche Network?’

No, that’s not a trick question…or is it?

The almost-too-clever LIVR (as in “liver failure”) requires users to attach a breathalyzer to their smartphones—and only those with blood-alcohol levels above the legal limit may proceed.

Why would you want to join such a network? We’ll let its supposed creators (who do not in any way embody certain longstanding stereotypes) explain:

We can’t quite agree that “our best ideas are found at the bottom of a glass”, and we almost hope this app is a joke—the breathalyzer itself has us leaning toward “SXSW stunt pitch that worked.”

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STUDY: Abstaining from Alcohol Will Cause Premature Death


Yeah, that’s what I thought as well.

I began searching for “paid by the same cats that brought you Jack Daniels distillery,” but what I found was enough to make a hobo stand up and shout “Amen!”

This study was conducted by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin. While that sounds impressive, a clinical psychologist smoking a fru-fru pipe standing in his white jacket and smart inscription “Charles Holahan, M.D.” I used my hack-turned-flack journalist Spidey Sense to ascertain something that was rather fishy.

The study 20 years in the making after the jump…

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Click Here For Your Free ‘Holiday Hangover Helper’

shutterstock_91899770Are you going to a company holiday party this season? Do you still have to show up at the office the following day? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions then you might just want to check out Canadian agency High Road Communications‘ “Holiday Hangover Helper” project.

To participate, simply visit the URL and enter the date of the upcoming company hoedown at which you might just have one too many. Then use the agency’s super-simple instructions to schedule your own “fake morning-after meeting” so you don’t have to sit through another annoying, totally unproductive hourlong lecture disguised as a strategy session.

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6 Ways Not to Be a Drunk Jerk at Your Agency’s Holiday Party


When we woke up this morning we thought “how can we make sure not to act like an ass at the company party we may or may not be attending this holiday season?”

Thankfully, Mr. Manners (aka Daniel Lippman) of The Wall Street Journal published a helpful how-to guide on Sunday. Let’s review his tips:

1. Dress appropriately

Ah yes. If you work on the creative side this generally means “don’t try to look like you give a sh*t”, but we know that quite a few agencies do require their professionals to dress…professionally. A self-described “business-etiquette expert” from Palm Beach (think about that for a second) tells the ladies “don’t wear anything low-cut, too short, too tight, too revealing” before recommending that bros stick with “a nice pair of slacks and a sports jacket”. This comment shows that time moves a little differently in Palm Beach.

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This Might Be the Best ‘Drink Responsibly’ Campaign Ever

Alcohol abuse and drunk driving are no laughing matter, and we know this on a personal level. But what’s the most effective way to address such a big public health problem: fear or humor?

Growing up in South Cackalacky in the early 90′s, we saw lots of PSAs with the tagline “South Carolina’s Roads Can be Highways or Dieways. The Choice Is Yours.” They were intense and frightening, they won a bunch of ad and PR awards, and they were funded with public money. But there’s some debate as to how effective they were, because how can you really measure such a thing?

Anyway, we prefer the approach taken by New Zealand’s Steinlager beer. This ad tells us “Don’t get really drunk, because you’ll end up looking as stupid as these guys”:

The title is “Be the artist, not the canvas”, and the brand sums it up as such:

As much as we want to encourage these budding artists, we’d rather there were no canvases for them to draw on. Take it easy out there if you are going to have a few drinks.

The clip makes its point with a bit of humor, and it won’t scare you into wetting yourself even if you had a couple of beers before watching. Should more PSAs follow this model?

Was the Maker’s Mark ‘Watered Down Whiskey’ Plan a PR Stunt?

Maker's Mark Last week we came across a disheartening story: In an effort to meet increasing international demand, top whiskey brand Maker’s Mark announced plans to make do with less by literally watering down its products and reducing the alcohol content of each bottle from 45% to 42%.

Full confession: we have very strong opinions about bourbon! We find Maker’s to be a slightly overrated and overpriced distillery distinguished mostly by its unique packaging, but we still thought this was a very dumb idea for a brand whose appeal is all about the quality and, therefore, purity of its products. The folks behind Maker’s seemed to get the point of the predictable public backlash, announcing this week that they wouldn’t go through with the brilliant plan after all and releasing the following statement:

“You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand — and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.”

We initially attributed this strange tale to an epic misreading of public opinion. But were we too quick to judge? Yesterday the “social infotainment” site Digital Dash made a bold suggestion: maybe this was all a clever PR stunt! What better way to get your brand noticed than to announce an unpopular change and then backtrack on the whole thing? And why announce the move in the first place? Most drinkers, ourselves included, would not have noticed the shift from 45% to 42%.

We know the “marketing scheme” theory is a bit of a stretch, but it’s also the only way this story makes any sense.

Irish Officials to Allow ‘Moderate’ Drunk Driving

GuinnessToday in Way to Perpetuate a Stereotype News, officials in the Irish county of Kerry have voted in favor of a motion that would allow people in rural parts of the county to drive home after having “two or three” drinks at local pubs.

The motion was proposed, according to councillor Danny Healy-Rae, because “people are living in isolated rural areas where there’s no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don’t want to take the risk of losing their licence.”

Let us just say that being of Irish descent, having lived in Galway for several months, and having spent a fair amount of time in Kerry, it really is true that the Irish pub culture is as much about socializing as it is about drinking (if not more so). It’s also true that many rural parts of the country have few, if any, social outlets aside from said drinkeries. Therefore, as ridiculous as it may sound, these concerns about people becoming socially isolated if they can’t go to their neighborhood watering holes are legitimate.

That said, we do feel the need to point out that the whole problem could also be resolved if these isolated folks just practiced heading to the pub, taking part in conversations, listening to music, playing cards with their neighbors and not drinking excessively (ludicrous, we know).

All jokes aside, though, we would be very surprised if this motion were accepted by the Minister for Justice (the next step in becoming law).

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Budweiser Miffed Over Flight Product Placement

And now we bring you a very, very welcome respite from politics. Yes, it felt great to type that.

In the eyes of the average brand, product placement is a good thing–especially when the product in question plays a role in a hit feature film. But representatives for worldwide King of Suds Anheuser-Busch aren’t too happy with the fact that a bottle clearly bearing the Budweiser logo appears in the new Denzel Washington thriller Flight.

Why would any brand demand to have its logo removed from a critically acclaimed movie starring one of the industry’s biggest names? It’s fairly simple, really: his character has a drinking problem.

That’s right, Denzel stars as a commercial airline pilot who works an evening shift as a hopeless alcoholic–and that fact turns into a big problem after he survives a “horrific crash” for which we can only assume he bears responsibility (no spoilers please–we’re waiting for the DVD).

Turns out that DVD may well be missing a certain dark-brown bottle with an iconic red logo. This week, Anheuser-Busch asked Paramount and its parent company, Viacom, to remove all traces of the offending Bud from subsequent cuts of Flight. The company’s vice president issued a statement: “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking…It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner.”


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