You know which “Captain” I’m referring to, right? Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, one-half of the rum-and-Coke drink that is a favorite amongst the hard-liquor-and-soda-pop crowd, named after Captain Morgan (if you’ve seen “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the “Pirates Code” refers to this same Morgan). Captain Morgan, one of the most notorious and dangerous pirates/privateers that lurked in the Spanish Main.
And who doesn’t want to party like a drunken pirate? Plunder and pillage! Arrrrrrr, matey.
Ninety percent of all commercials create, in me, an urge to shout and gesture toward the TV in an uncouth and violent fashion; but I find the commercials for beer and liquor particularly galling. They have so little basis in reality. I know. I know. Who wants reality when you’re drinking? I mean, isn’t that why people drink, to alter their reality, if only a little bit? I much prefer to think of myself as slender and elegant, dressed impeccably and being eyed appreciatively by attractive men and intelligent women; but the actuality is that while I may be a lot of things when drinking (blurred, foolish, ridiculously sincere), I am rarely elegant.
But still. How much fun would it be to see that reality in the commercials?
There are a couple different kinds of TV commercials for intoxicating drink. There’s the elegant, hip crowd drinking liquors over ice. These people attend parties in elegant penthouses overlooking large metropolitan areas. They are excruciatingly goodlooking. These people do not seem to drink too much. They don’t look the type to argue over who took the last of something out of the fridge without permission. Their underwear never shows when they get up from the couch, no matter how short their skirts are. Their lipstick is never smeared, and there are never intense drunken conversations about politics, religion, or bodily functions.
Then there’s the beer-and-football crowd being Just Plain Folks. They wear jeans and sweatshirts and turn over large bowls of chips and popcorn whilst cheering a goal. They are always homey men (and some women) in rooms with large-screen TVs, folks fishing/bowling/playing darts. There are never loud drunken fights over whose sports team is better. No one accidentally steals anyone’s lighter. They never spill on themselves, and there are never intense drunken conversations about politics, religion, or bodily functions.
But whether dancing in three-inch heels at the Boom-Boom Room or shouting excitedly during televised sports, the truth is that so little of that has anything to do with reality.
I’m not saying that there aren’t beautiful women with long silky legs out there somewhere, a cocktail in one hand, waving the other in the air “like she just don’t care”. And I’m not saying that there aren’t boisterous men jumping up and down as a result of a goal or some other incredibly important sporting event. I’m saying I’d like to see the rest of the commercial, the last 30 seconds or so that was cut before airing. The part of the commercial that looks more like real life. You know, the part where someone accidentally dumps their drink down someone’s back or on their lap. The part where someone drunkenly leaves the party and sits in the driveway until someone else comes out cooing “What’s wrong? Is everything OK?” The part where the host of the party says, “Yeah, but seriously. Give me your keys.”
I’m not sure it would be a more effective sales campaign. But I’ll bet it wouldn’t hurt sales, either.
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