(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘marketing

“No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public”*…

… and now two beverage giants are turning their attention to Europe:

Coca-Cola and Pernod Ricard plan to debut Absolut Vodka & Sprite as a ready-to-drink pre-mixed cocktail in early 2024, the companies said in a statement.

The pre-mixed cocktail will be available in versions with Sprite and Sprite Zero Sugar, with the initial launch planned for select European countries, including the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Coca-Cola has brought several of its most popular brands into the alcohol space during the last two years through partnerships with booze companies such as Molson Coors and Brown-Forman…


The inimitable Walt Hickey reacts…

Coca-Cola and Pernod Ricard have cut a deal to produce a ready-to-drink mixed cocktail that is literally just Absolut vodka and Sprite. Legendary adwoman Peggy Olson once quipped that “You need three ingredients for a cocktail. Mountain Dew and vodka is an emergency,” and that wisdom certainly holds here. The idea that a company could charge a premium to mix together Absolut and Sprite is an insult; as we all know, cheap vodka mixed with Sprite is an innovation of desperation, the mixture one creates when all other options have been exhausted, the kind of drink that you have when you’re 17 and new to the whole thing. This is the kind of beverage that is exclusively made at 2:45 in the morning in a college dorm because the bars closed and we can’t get mixers at Wawa because the line was too long. An Absolut and Sprite is the official drink of a CYO party. An Absolut and Sprite makes a Jack and Coke look like a Sazerac. That it is being combined in a ready-to-drink offering is an insult to the aluminum that went into that can. Given that the ready-to-drink category is projected to grow by $11.6 billion from 2022 to 2026 alone, I can almost guarantee it’s going to be amazingly successful and I already hate it.


[Image above: source]

* H. L. Mencken


As we ponder progress, we might recall that today is observed (by some) as World Tripe Day— a celebration of the culinary delicacy known as tripe (the edible lining from the stomach of various farm animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats).


Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 24, 2023 at 1:00 am

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”*…

The inimitable Tim Urban on the children who populate print ads from the first (the “pre-TV”) half of the 20th century…

Girls who are a weird level of hungry

Kids with old faces…

Infants drinking soda…

Children at risk…

… and so much more: “Creepy Kids in Creepy Vintage Ads,” from @waitbutwhy.

* L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between


As we contemplate change, we might recall that it was on this date in 1941, before a Brooklyn Dodgers–Philadelphia Phillies game at Ebbets Field, that NBC-owned station WNBT in New York aired the first (legal) television commercial– The “Bulova Time Check.” Bulova paid $4 in air fees plus $5 in station fees; there were about 4,000 TV sets in the New York Area at the time. The average cost of a 30-second spot in the broadcast of the last Super Bowl was $7,000,000.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 1, 2023 at 1:00 am

“Toys are intriguing… they represent one way that society socializes its young”*…

And, as Greg Daugherty explains, that process was accelerated in the second half of the last century…

World War II gave rise to countless innovations that would change American life for decades to come—from the rugged Jeep, to mass-produced penicillin, to the terrifying atomic bomb. But, ironically enough, few U.S. industries were more profoundly affected by the war than the toy business.

Not only were toy and game designers and makers able to take advantage of the latest scientific advances, such as colorful and inexpensive plastics; they also benefited from two other post-war trends. The baby boom—more than 76 million kids born between 1946 and 1964—offered them record numbers of potential customers. And television, little more than a novelty before the war, soon made it possible to demonstrate the latest playthings to millions of kids at a time. Little wonder that toy sales grew from $84 million in 1940 to $900 million by 1953 and into the billions of dollars in by the early 1960s…

The ascendance of plastics and television forever changed an industry– and our culture: “How Toys Changed After World War II,” from @GregDaugherty1 in @HISTORY.

Mr. McGuire : I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin : Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire : Are you listening?

Benjamin : Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire : Plastics.

Benjamin : Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire : There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

From The Graduate, written by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry (from the novel by Charles Webb); directed by Mike Nichols

* David Levinthal (a photographer whose work centers toys)


As we play, we might note that today is the celebration of the 2022 inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play… two of the three honorees are plastic toys heavily advertised on television in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 12, 2022 at 1:00 am

“My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice is Guinness. My third choice – would have to be Guinness.”*…

As Will O’Brien explains, Ireland’s most famous brewery has been ahead of the curve for 250 years…

Taken over its entire history, Guinness may just be the most successful company Ireland has ever produced. In 1930, it was the seventh largest company in Britain or Ireland. It is one of our oldest companies of note. Considering that it predates the Bank of Ireland and the State itself, it could even be said that Guinness is the longest-running successful large institution in Ireland.

The key to Guinness’ robustness has been innovation. Through a series of key innovations, Guinness was able to stay on top despite (among other things) a famine, mass emigration, two World Wars, a civil war, and the changeover from British to sovereign rule. Guinness is responsible for changes in workplace relations, several foundational advances in the physics of brewing, and even the famous Student’s t-test in statistics. Indeed, Guinness has been one of the key drivers of innovation in Ireland.

A determined founder began Guinness with a vision and took a bold decision with a 9000-year lease. The company then started a brewery which defied nearly every norm in workplace relations. They used the scientific method to radically rethink how beer is brewed and served, and created a world-class brand & marketing operation.

When Guinness released a subtly different pint glass several years ago, traditionalists decried it as blasphemous. The irony is that the brewery that creates this drink has eschewed tradition for over 250 years…

Lessons are where one finds them: “No Great Stagnation in Guinness,” from @willobri.

* Peter O’Toole


As we contemplate continuity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1903 that the first U.S. patent for instant coffee (No. 735,777) was issued to Satori Kato of Chicago, Illinois. The application was filed in April of 1901, when his Kato Coffee Company introduced the product at the Pam-American Exposition in Buffalo.

A brochure for the Kato Coffee Company, from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition


Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 11, 2022 at 7:59 am

“The sea hath fish for every man”*…

A few weeks ago, (Roughly) Daily shared the story of The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ attempt to rebrand invasive Asian Carp as Copi in an attempt to make it a more appealing food. Kane Hsieh, writing in Spencer Wright‘s always-illuminating The Prepared, elaborates on the theme…

… It’s worked in the past: Chilean sea bass (Patagonian toothfish), monkfish (goosefish), and uni (urchin, also called whore’s eggs by American fisherman as recently as 1990) were all successful rebrandings.

Speaking of fish, it’s always a surprise to me how much of what feels like traditional cuisine is actually very modern, accidental, or even engineered. In Japanese cuisine, tuna and salmon rose to their contemporary status only in the 20th century: tuna was a poor man’s fish until post-war Western influence brought a taste for fattier meat, and salmon was an undesirable fish until the 80s when a desperate Norwegian government ran aggressive ad campaigns in Japan

Trash to table: rebranding fish to make them more palletable, from @kane in @the_prepared.

William Camden


As we contemplate cuisine, we might recall that it was on this date in 1838 that it rained frogs in London. Indeed, there have been numerous instances on polliwog precipitation in the area, most recently in 1998, when an early morning rain shower in Croydon (South London) was accompanied by hundreds of dead frogs.

A woodcut showing a rain of frogs in Scandanavia, from ‘Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon,’ one of the first modern books about strange phenomenon, published in 1557 [source]

Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 30, 2022 at 1:00 am