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Tanqueray Rolls Global Campaign

Posted by: David Kiley on July 7, 2009

Drinks giant Diageo has rolled out a global ad campaign from Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam for Tanqueray gin. Themed “Resist Simple,” the effort seeks to position Tanqueray as a brand of gin for people who resist the obvious. That idea got translated to “Resist Simple.”

In this TV spot, then line that jumps out is the one near the end about how the people drinking Tanqueray go back to Paris again and again but have resisted seeing the the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa or the Arc de Triomphe.

Positioning the consumers of your product as people who go the other way, or take the road less traveled seems a bit played to me. And who are these people? Why do I care? And what kind of numb-skulls go back to Paris repeatedly without going to the Louvre, or strolling by the Arc de Triomphe. Heck, wouldn’t you eventually pass by the Arc in a cab or on a Vespa? The guy sounds like a jerk.

This is more of the effort of Diageo to globalize its drinks ad campaigns. In fact, though done by a different agency, there is something about this effort from Wieden that makes me think of the Ketel One ad campaign recently released by Diageo and done by Grey.

It’s not nearly as bad as the Ketel One campaign. But the common denominator is a serious lack of creativity. This campaign, like the Ketel One effort, seems like it was ordered through the mail from an agency that advertises in the back of a magazine for franchise business owners. It could be for anything. If two agencies on two different continents are creating ad campaigns for two different brands, and those campaigns look like they came out of the same tired creative group, then I have to point to the client as the culprit on the dumbing down of its advertising.

In another TV spot, called “Backstage,” the virtues of the signature Tanqueray & Tonic cocktail are highlighted with a voiceover that refers to the drink as “…what the guy who often talks his way backstage is having.”

Spirits brands have personalities that must be honed and nurtured through advertising. Look at advertising for, say, Jack Daniels, and you will note that is nothing like the ads for Wild Turkey or Maker’s Mark.

After all, in the case of gin and vodka, there is only so much differentiation you can achieve in the product.

Tanqueray is a good solid gin with some class. It has been served by some clever ad campaigns. This just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

Reader Comments

frank Loweser

July 13, 2009 9:21 AM

I agree. I have seen so many campaigns like this.....trying t put forth the idea that Brand X is or the cool guy.

Tanqueray, AND Ketel One, both have...had....unique ideas around their brands. Feels like Diageo is trying to smooth out the unique aspects of gthe brands here like the military when they go to work on new recruits....make them all compliant and pulling for team. Ditch their quirky personalities for the good of the unit. That works better in the Army than in brand building.

P Ryan

July 20, 2009 5:35 PM

The thing that cracks me up is that the best way to enjoy Tanqueray is in a remarkably simple g&t which seems to go against everything they seem to want to stand for.

Where many spirits brands get cocked up is the intersection between what the brand is about and what consumers care about. Few really get this right. There's this horrible idea that you have to show your consumer to be relevant and your drink has to be this social rallying cry that allows everyone to express themselves like they never have before. Take a lesson from Dos Equis.


August 10, 2009 9:14 AM

This is advertising on Prozac. No highs or lows. It's just be forgotten as soon as it runs and it is off your screen. Disposable.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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