Thursday, August 02, 2012

Surreal London Reboots, 1991

In the States, add Santa Fe to anything and instantly you have a swanky minded product, apparently. Nevermind there's no real connection from any product to Santa Fe at all whatsoever. What does it matter?  Who even takes note of it? Let's call it the "Santa Fe Bounce" or the "Santa Fe Bump," shall we? Not coincidentally, perhaps, Santa Fe means "Holy Faith" in Spanish.   

Never are these kinds of dubious mind-tricks more apparent than when you're traveling with your eyes wide open and an ear to the ground. Take, for instance, Tennessee Fried Chicken in London. What the hell, what the heck?

How about an eerie little slogan board in London, 1991, proclaiming: The Territorial Army: Ready and Waiting. 
For what?

Or this Wrangler's advert:
"Be More Than Just a Number . . . W."
Instead of being a number as in Levi's 501s, you could be a letter as in the Wrangler's W!

The Exotic Budweiser Campaign.
Posters in the Underground. "This yeast strain is ours and ours alone. It helps give Bud its distinctive clean crisp taste. Bud has used the same yeast culture since 1876." Photo of Benson, North Carolina, USA. "It must be quite a strain. Older than the Empire State Building, the Model-T, & even the hot dog!"

There's all the iconography an English advert can pack in showing "American values:"
Each guy (all white), baseball hat on, each with a can of Bud and a four-pack left on each porch. There's an older guy in overalls, a younger one in fishing boots. There's a broom, birdfeeders, a charcoal grill, hubcaps, rakes, US flags, porches, push lawnmowers, fishing tackle, hoses, rods, nets, hats on walls, thermometers, gas cans, bags of charcoal, planters filled with stubble, old fridges, lunch boxes, an old flat mailbox nailed to the wall, screen doors, white-washed houses, split wood in stacks and piles, cans of WD-40 spray, sharp axes and dented lanterns. And those four-packs of Bud just waiting to be quaffed . . . 

I'm not suggesting that Bud is watery swill, but can say truly this: Czech Budvar is tasty and you can drink it in Europe.

Marketing is 80% of the game -- maybe more.

I remember when Heineken was treated like some exotic import in the USA, despite the fact that it's the Dutch equivalent of Bud. In London if you want to go Dutch, it's easier to get your hands on Grolsch. When in London, though, I usually go for on-tap English ales or, every once in a while, hard ciders.  

Finally, in London '91 there was a sign that read:

Don't Be a Plonker!

Toss your rubbish in the proper dustbins, will ya?

Today's Rune: Growth.      


Charles Gramlich said...

Fried chicken under any name is purty good.

the walking man said...

he he he now they send Faygo out through the states as an exotic soda.

Damn son you just made glad I never drank beer as a habit.

OHH but that fried chicken, the things you go without for a 67 cholesterol number.

Adorably Dead said...

I love it when your posts have a bit of a sardonic edge to them. :p

And don't you make fun of my Heineken! It's one of the only beers I can drink without making the 'ew gross, it's beer' face. haha.

I can't drink beer, I'm a chick...I drink hard liqour. Mmmm burny throat feelings.