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.

It's so mind bogglingly shallow that i'm forced to question, as I look at the glass of Ketel One or whatever, if the ad isn't having the opposite of its intended effect, that is, driving me away from this crass manipulation of my values in its crassness. These commercials take my desire to live a fulfilled life full of friends who are like family, the unbeaten path, the life of finding my own values rather than accepting the ones that have been handed to me, and then the silhouette of those values and wrapped in a general bourgeois vision of bohemian living reduce them to a few sound bites and MTV style video edits stripped of any depth or meaning.

Which is to say, clearly this advertising doesn't work. I'm certainly not gonna go out and buy some Tanqueray or Bombay gin now, and I think I'm less likely to having seen these commercials.

What does that mean for advertising I wonder.

Comments

So: *why*, exactly, does this

So: *why*, exactly, does this make you less likely to buy the product? Not a hypothetical or flippant question.

because i don't like feeling

because i don't like feeling pandered to and manipulated, and i now associate those products with that feeling.

well, i generally dislike

well, i generally dislike commercials that don't bother trying to be entertaining at least. advertisers do best with me when they're funny or interesting in some way. But the old run of the mill "sexy chick drinking a coke" thing doesn't get me because it's innocuous. the stuff that's being manipulated is my sex drive and I can recognize and even embrace that. same with the coke polar bears being cute. It's not personal. With this particular commercial it was something that means something to me that was being manipulated and that I have a problem with.

sorry

sometimes i am shallow.

I am not sure if you are the

I am not sure if you are the target audience. Not your mentality anyway. The target audience is the consumer person. Not the person that wastes time actually reading books as opposed to watching the latest mind numbing dumb drama Hollywood is so sweet to shit out like a person suffering from dysentary. No, these commercials are meant for people that do as they are told. They always have been. These same commercials existed for every generation.

What I long to see in my dream world of advertisement is a liquor commercial that shows a man coming home at 4 am and getting into an argument with his wife who threatens divorce and in their argument wake up the children who don't understand why mommy and daddy are arguing like this and start crying. That'd be super.

In the background a picture of the couple 5 or 6 years earlier enjoying a trip to Paris???

Fuck, who knows? I mean I like some of the finer liquors. Sometimes what sells me on top shelf is the lack of a shitty hangover. For instance, it is known that if a man drinks a pint of Bacardi Rum (any flavor) the hangover will be as brutal as if he drank a whole fifth of some good rum such as Goeslings. Why? I don't really know other than Bacardi is mass produced and probably is aged for a week or something before it is shipped.

Ah, but back to the point. For every Quackenbush this sort of ad turns away, there are 10 John Fucksticks that are impressed.