Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

As many of you know, we are in the midst of a Presidential Election Year here in the States. But what you may not be aware of, is there is a new candidate that has thrown his hat into the ring. That’s right, Captian Morgan is running for President- and he’s made The Democratic National Convention his first stop on the campaign trail.

Diageo has launched a faux campaign complete with Secret Service Men (and Women) the trusty Morganettes and of course, The Captian himself. They are the official wine and spirits company of the Republican National Convention and the preferred wine and spirits company of the Democratic National Convention.

The effort -- which is prominently promoted at a number of branded bars and lounges around the convention sites -- launched with a "Captain Morgan for President" Facebook page and a YouTube video in which Captain Morgan lays out his platform for the presidency.

In addition, Diageo has set up The Captain’s Corner in one of the media pavilions allowing Journalists access to a bevy of Diageo brands and snacks for the gullet

Hmmm, get them sauced, feed their bellies… publicity. Genius!

Well done to Baker Street's very own Mr S Holmes for discovering this...

Really interesting idea... But will it work? To be honest... anything that even remotely works is brilliant in this instance.

Via Fubiz.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hornitos is taking technology to the next level with the introduction of 2D Codes to the July issue of Playboy.

2D Codes are a Physical World Hyperlink that connects users to the internet through their mobile phone. The software is equipped to work on any camera mobile phone. All consumers have to do is download the free scanning software at and click a picture of the barcode. Once the barcode is scanned, the consumer will receive a free screensaver of Playboy’s Miss July. All they have to do is scan the ad to get the girl!

A full page ad and a 1/3 page insertion ran simultaneously.

Look out for more exciting and innovative ideas from Hornitos!

Hornitos Tequila have launched a new microsite in the U.S. which allows consumers to buy their favourite Hornitos cocktail for a friend.

Legal purchase age consumers can now use their mobile phones ( or the Hornitos site,, to send a personalised note and prepaid gift card to friends.

Hornitos have partnered with to build this innovative programme which allows gift recipients to receive their drink gift via email, gift card or text message. The mobile programme is the first ever mobile site that allows consumers to buy their friends drinks. With the text messaging capability, users can access their gifts via mobile phone even while at a participating bar or restaurant. Gift recipients can find out which bars and restaurants in their area accept the gift cards/codes either through the website or mobile site. The programme has launched with 115 participating bars and restaurants in 14 markets across the US and is open to any bar or restaurant that wants to join.

Sauza Brand Manager Antonio Portillo said “We’re pleased to help consumers share good times with friends through This exciting technology allows consumers to buy their friend a drink from across the bar or across the country. It will be sure to engage our technologically savvy consumers and increase brand awareness.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I've long been an admirer of Heston Blumenthal and am delighted to see someone embracing his ideas in the world of innovative bartending. See the New York Times article below for the full story.

" ALL I did, as usual, was order a drink. Which only partly explains why I found myself here, seated in a cordoned-off side room at Zeta, a plush, dusky, high-ceiling downtown night spot — holding a booze-filled pineapple and wearing a blindfold along with headphones hooked to a specially programmed iPod.

All the while, someone was spraying my face with what smelled like Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the world’s most elaborate cocktail garnish. The Tiki, the drink I ordered, is one of four sensory cocktails to make their debut this month at Zeta. They join au courant classics like a Ping Pong and Clover Club on the deliciously freewheeling cocktail menu, which also features a martini served on a bed of smoldering tea leaves and a bourbon-and-Coke “ice cream cone” forged in liquid nitrogen.

The sensory cocktails work like this: order the daiquiri, and you’re tucked into a semiprivate spot where you sip your drink blindfolded while listening to 18 minutes of Cuban music on an iPod. All the while, a waitress spritzes you with a cigar mist made by simmering crumbled cigars in water and simple syrup.

The idea, said Grant Collins, Zeta’s consulting mixologist, is “to heighten the link between the drink and the experience. Listening to the music makes your mind drift, and the blindfold heightens your sense of smell.” And the smoky mist? It’s a sensory trick to make you think you’re in Havana. Blind and piercingly alone, but still, you know, in Havana.

Mr. Collins cribbed his inspiration from Heston Blumenthal, the chef of the Fat Duck, a restaurant near London. That’s where Mr. Bluementhal created a seafood dish served with an iPod loaded with ambient ocean sounds.

Besides the Tiki, Zeta offers a sea breeze, with Blumenthalian wave sounds and a sea spray that leaves salt on one’s lips, and a martini equipped with a 1950s Rat Pack soundtrack. That last one is designed to evoke New York City, the capital of the cocktail experience — but where the virtual cocktail hasn’t arrived.

The question, Mr. Collins said, is whether all this makes your drink taste better.

For this drinker, the answer was, eh, not so much. I’m not sure that I even registered tasting it, overwhelmed as I was by the lab-rat sensations of being sequestered and sensitized, not to mention spritzed. Then again, meditation isn’t my bag — not even cocktail meditation.

“You have to almost will yourself to be transported,” Mr. Collins advised. “For us, it’s about creating the right environment for that to happen.” To that end, Mr. Collins toyed with using a heat lamp, to replicate the warmth of the tropical sun. But that idea was dropped. “Too many danger points,” he said."



Pernod Ricard has released a summer-based pack offer for its Malibu rum brand in the UK.

The company's UK unit said that it has invested £250,000 (US$480,745) in Malibu flip flop packs as part of its 'Get Your Island On' marketing campaign for the brand. The off-trade promotion, which contains a pair of branded ladies flip flops, will run until stocks last.

The campaign is part of the 'Get Your Island On' marketing campaign for Malibu, which will see Pernod Ricard UK invest £14m over the next two years. The campaign includes a £1.2m TV advertising campaign which ran throughout June and early July this year, as well as digital, press, radio, experiential marketing and sampling.

"We will be supporting (Malibu) extensively over the next two years with our new 'Get Your Island On' campaign," said Dan Reuby, customer development director at Pernod Ricard UK. "Our off-trade promotional flip flop packs ... have been selling particularly well during the recent hot weather spells."

Pernod launched 'Get Your Island On', the brand's first above-the-line campaign since Pernod acquired former owner Allied_Domecq in 2005, in May.

Monday, August 18, 2008

From Springwise

"Encouraging people to organize their own wine tasting parties, 4xProeven (Tastingx4) combines a board game with a four-pack of wine.

The concept is simple: four small (0.375 litre) bottles of red wine are packaged in a carton that folds out to a board. Four blank stickers are included to hide the bottles' labels. A leaflet explains the basic elements of wine tasting: look, smell, taste and compare. It also describes the four single grape varieties included in the game. Players shuffle the bottles and start tasting. By comparing a wine's taste to the four descriptions, the objective is to guess which is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Just launched in The Netherlands, 4xProeven is currently sold online for EUR 24.95 and by a small number of wine shops, and the company is planning to launch internationally soon.

While wine tasting games certainly aren't new, they generally include game elements only, not the wine itself. And here's where we think 4xProeven missed a great opportunity (or maybe they're working on it). Instead of including unbranded wines, partner with a well-known label and turn the game into a smart and simple way to tryvertise, getting customers to sample a variety of reds or whites while connecting with the brand. We're sure Springwise has a few readers at E&J Gallo and Jacob's Creek. Time to give this one a spin? ;-)"

The winner of the annual Bombay Sapphire glass design constest is inspired by the botanicals in their gin. If this is the case their shouldn't be much of a design at all. The Beefeater master distiller once told me that Bombay Sapphire is the vodka of gins... it's not got much depth to it because they hardly use any botanicals at all.

Anyway, we love the glass design competition. And this year's winner looks as good as ever.

Find out more here.

From The Illustration Site:

"One of the world's most respected distillers, William Grant & Sons, has commissioned a series of illustrations from Jonathan Williams to help build an identity for a new triple malt whiskey called Monkey Shoulder.

Aimed at a younger generation, Monkey Shoulder challenges more traditional perceptions of the classic drink, rebranding it without losing any of its sense of heritage.

Monkey Shoulder is a vatting of three single malts (Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie), placing it somewhere between a blended and single malt. The smooth vanilla notes of Monkey Shoulder make it an ideal whisky for cocktails, drawing praise from critics and bar-tenders alike.

Williams can vouch for that personally: “I live about an hour from the distillery in the Highlands of Scotland so (unusually for me) I actually met the client and enjoyed a VIP tour of the distillery!”"

From Luxist

"Glenlivet has stepped up their game with the release of The Glenlivet XXV, a new premium 25-year-old whisky. The whisky is finished in first-fill sherry casks for two years for extra flavor and sweetness. The whisky has a notes of honey and malt with a fruity palate. Recently Malt Advocate tasted it and ranked it a 93. It comes in an impressive wooden gift box with a slab of limestone with the name inscribed on it. The box also includes a booklet detailing the history of the whisky and a certificate of quality. It will sell for $350 and will be available this fall."


"Ever wanted to be involved in the nightlife industry, besides drinking and clubbing? I’m sure many of you would probably say ‘yes’, but you’re also probably thinking that you just don’t have the time, and more importantly the money to start your own bar or club. has stumbled across a neat idea which would make the dream of owning your own venue a reality! Introducing MYOBar…

MYO stands for My, Your, Our, which is a bar that you can buy into; becoming a shareholder and member. You will be able manage this bar, along with other shareholders and have a say on the interior, themed nights, the name of bar, staff recruitment, designs, drinks, food and other ad-hoc ideas members may have. Unlike most shareholder schemes, MYObar intends to operate a 1 member, 1 vote policy, giving each person an equal say, no matter how many shares they have.

What does it cost?

MYObar are seeking to raise £750,000 to develop this bar and there are 5000 shares to be had, costing £150 each. You can buy as few or as many as you wish; over 300 have been sold already!

What now?

If you are interested, you can join their Facebook group which can be found here:

And if you want to buy into MYObar simply send an email to Karl, Jack & James at"

Here's a press clipping from a London freesheet...

Would this be open to Beam or Publicis investing I wonder?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Absolut's new LA falvour launch is getting a fair amount of coverage from trend spotting sites... but some of the comments by the public aren't so positive.

Have a look at some of these remarks from Current.

Inspired by Los Angeles, so does that mean it's going to taste phony, desperate, will talk on and on about how it has something in development at a BIG studio, and is only going to be interested in me if I can do something for it?

they forgot to add botox and collagen to the product's flavor description.

Tastes like LA, Burns like a California wildfire.

It should really taste like Cigarretes, cocaine and a hint of meth, with hot peppers and maybe alcohol on it.

Whilst they aren't glowing... some are quite witty and none of them are negatively directed at Absolut. It all adds to tease our collective curiosity. And it is completely in line with the "spoofability" that Absolut's marketing has been famous for over the years.

Maybe the soundtrack to this campaign should be the Bran Van 3000 song: "Drinking in LA"


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