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Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

So gin tastes like pine needles. I've always thought this and wondered what the appeal was. I like my liquor to taste like liquor, not some weird watery piney furniture cleanser.

Still, my dad always has loved his Beefeaters, and I suppose that there are other folks who like gin just fine. It's not my cup of tea, but there are more pressing concerns than wondering about taste.

All of this to say that I think I've had Tanqueray two or three times in my life. And yet for some reason the internet has chosen to assault me with ads for Tanqueray gin two or three times an hour.

And what's been striking me as strange about this ad, and the other liquor ads I've been seeing lately, is that they seem to be bent not on selling a liquor but on selling a lifestyle. The lifestyle on display appears to be thirty to forty something gen exers still partying like they did in 1994 but now with more of the money and accoutrements of the upper middle class that they didn't have back then. It's an inherently shallow vision: guys in tailored sport coats and dress shirts without ties with four day growths of beard, girls in low backed dresses and pumps. Lots of wet asphalt and coarse voiced narrators talking about what people on screen are doing as if it's the coolest thing in the world. These are people who in the words of the Tanqueray narrator can "go to paris repeatedly and never see the eiffel tower, the mona lisa, or the arc de triumphe."

It bothers me because I am clearly the target market of this crap, and yes I recognize myself in the caricatures of people living the good life presented in these commercials as something that in broad contours resembles what I want out of my life. They want to sell me a more glamorous version of the lifestyle I already have. And I don't like it.

Super Bowl Commercials

I don't watch the Superbowl. Never cared about football (that's American football to all you foreign types). But the one part of the show that is entertaining are the big-budget advertisements which have often been used to roll out big new products like the famous '1984' ad for the original Macintosh.

But where can I go to just watch the ads? Or pick and choose just the ads I want to watch? Well Adland (commercial-archive.com) is already posting them. So screw the Superbowl.

(Full disclosure: Adland is run by my friend, the super-awesome Åsk Wäppling.)