94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a big fat lie. Advertising copywriter Copyranter brings you instances of advertising lies and the lying liars who sell them.
The vodka market is the limitless frontier of ad-men and importers. Pretty much everybody who's got a bottle and a dream—even dead rock stars who choked on their own alcohol-fueled puke—is trying to become the next Absolut. (Thanks, of course, to TBWA's long-running campaign.) A guy I work with even hopes to soon introduce a Hamptons vodka called Saggy Egret or something. I tried it, but because it was poured from a clear, label-less bottle, it tasted kinda flat to me. Now, after nearly a year delay, Donald Trump's overpriced hooch— a product he says he has never even tasted—is widely available. His tagline? "Success Distilled."
To think, everybody used to just drank Smirnoff. Let's take a look at the ad campaigns of three of the fastest selling vodka brands.
On February 6th, Fortune 500 liquor maker/marketer Constellation Brands bought Svedka vodka for $384 million. Last year, Svedka increased sales 60% behind ads featuring a hottie roboty from the year 2023—a fembot that, to me, looks a little too much like the Bjork bot created eight years ago by director Chris Cunningham. FYI, Mr. Cunningham, The Svedka folks will officially be very cash-rich as of March 1st.
Grey Goose just launched a pear-flavored product, Le Poire (Regular readers of Gawker have probably noticed the ubiquitous ads for Absolut's new pear-flavored vodka.). As part of an ongoing partnership with Conde Nast, Grey Goose employs New Yorker cartoonists to help create tear-out recipe postcards that mimic the style of the magazine's sketches, complete with dreadful punchlines:
And finally, there's Ketel One, the official assimilation vodka of Gawker's favorite Negro. I'm sure you've seen their anti-ad ads—badly punctuated notes addressed "Dear Ketel One Drinker." I've been answering all of the Dutch distiller's missives from the get-go. Below, is my most recent response.