Monday, September 27, 2010

Drink What the Bear Drinks Not What He Sells

There is a town in Queensland called Bundaberg. The town is set in the middle of a sugar cane growing region and as you might expect much of the industry in town centres on sugar and sugar by products. The most famous by product in Australia is Bundaberg rum known as "Bundy" because good luck trying to pronounce Bundaberg after you've had a few.

The advertising for Bundaberg rum usually includes a large polar bear which is the brand's mascot. Pardon me while I just try to get my head around that; a spirit produced in a tropical region of a southern hemisphere continent is marketed using a polar bear. It would be like trying to market Russian vodka by using a giraffe. " Szyitzfass vodka, enjoy it all the way down ". I would get a job in advertising but I've already sold my soul for a packet of cornflakes. Why a bear though? Bears, to the best of my knowledge, are not prevalent in any of the rum producing areas of the world and why can a seven foot polar bear walk into a pub without producing a rush for the exits?

There is a series of television commercials featuring the bear and a group of (human) friends. I don't know whether its coincidence or a subtle warning but the bear who promotes the alcohol is far more intelligent and sophisticated than the boofheads who drink it. I suspect the bear has a secret room at home filled with fine wines and high end whisky. I'll also bet he never invites his bundy drinking friends around whenever he opens a bottle.

I love the bundy rum commercials, they're usually funny and frequently clever and the bear is a definite winner. I would cheerfully go out for a drink with the bear. We won't be drinking bundy though. That stuff is dreadful.

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