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Booze Mascots are the New Folk Heroes   1 comment

mimitwHello, dear reader!  If you are anything like me you are just waking up from last night’s bender, memories hazy and with a dull throbbing reminder that you can not handle your booze like you could when you were a teenager.  Perhaps as you sipped on your glass of fire water you took the time to ponder who is responsible for the ruin your life has become.

Marketing for alcohol is typically aimed at men, are filled with bikini-girls and total-bros and sells a generally unrealistic idea of what a night out drinking looks like.

Image stolen from a much more thoughtful discussion about alcohol advertisement over at Talking Reckless.

I hope one of those girls farts right in his ear.

But things change over time. Just take a look at this new Bacardi ad:

…is that the sax solo from Careless Whisper on the Spanish guitar at 0:10?

Bacardi USA’s new ¡Vivimos! campaign, consists of a short film and a series of commercials that tell the story of Emilio Bacardi’s involvement in the Cuban War of Independence and the Spanish-American War.  He joins the likes of John Jameson and “The Most Interesting Man in the World” as part of the ongoing effort to separate the drunken public from their money.  Alcohol sponsored Folk Heroes.

Dos Equis kicked this trend off in 2006.

Fun facts about this guy, his real name is Johnathan Goldsmith, he is from New York and you can hear what he really sounds like here, in an interview about his work to save Siberian tigers.  Pretty… interesting! (Huh? HUH?! You like that joke? Yeah, you like that joke.).  He is also perhaps the new Bill Brasky.

John Jameson, founder of Jameson Irish Whiskey, has gotten a similar treatment.

What is a folk hero?  I am glad you ask, dear reader.  A folk hero is defined as someone who is admired for their achievements by the ordinary people of a particular region.  Their stories are passed down from one generation to the next, getting bigger and more fantastic over time, until you end up with Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires (the book is worth reading, honestly).  They are the national heroes.  The Daniel Boones, the Paul Bunyans the Johnny Appleseeds.

These new heroes are best described as Fakelore, meaning that they are characters designed to have mass-market appeal while retaining the characteristics of folk stories.  Bacardi has a one up in legitimacy over Jameson and the Dos Equis mascot in that his story is true, although highly romanticized.

These “heroes” allow the viewer to project themselves into those stories and in turn convince themselves that if they buy the product that they will be more like the character.  It won’t.  No amount of Dos Equis will make anyone the least bit more interesting to anyone other than themselves.

Where is that warning label?

Drink responsibly!

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Posted July 10, 2013 by atomicsam in TV

Tagged with , , , ,

One response to “Booze Mascots are the New Folk Heroes

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  1. I was thinking just yesterday about how marketing was the most evil thing anyone could ever do. I don’t care if you market puppies to orphans; you need to stop or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azp91hVsQHY

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