In researching historical data for upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I came across a statement that got me thinking. A spirits manufacturer was saying that you could tell everything you needed to know about an Irish person by which Irish whisky they drank. First, they only drink one brand and what that brand is can clue one into the social, economic and cultural class one belonged to.
In a nutshell, those who drink Bushmills tended to belong to the upper, UK-centric class and those who drank Jameson to the hard-working, Ireland-centric middle class. And ne’er the twain shall meet...there IS no cross-over, once one's brand has been determined. Stereotyping, to be sure, but an interesting idea.
This is the very idea of targeted marketing... making one identify with a brand to announce to the world or the other people at the bar ones place in it. And it works. Let’s play a little game to see how well...
Who do you picture when you see a Bud and a shot of Jack on the bartop? An Apple Martini? A Strawberry Daiquiri? A tidy highball with peaty single malt, no ice?
My guess is, you think... 1.longshoreman, 2. Manhattan-ite, 3. a ‘Bigger the Hair, the Closer to God’ Southern chick and 4. a Brooks Brothers-clad CEO. Now mix them up...the longshoreman drinking a Daiquiri, the Belle with the scotch, the CEO with the Appletini and the socialite with the shot and beer. OK, that just feels wrong. And no matter how deliciously fruity and nummy that daiquiri is, Spike’s co-workers would never let him get away with that fluffy libation and just might take to calling him Tinkerbelle. Not pretty.
So what do you know about me when I tell you I am a Pinot/Porter/Port kinda chick...well, one, that I like words that start with P. Two, fond of alliteration. Three, I might have a rather urbane palette, a little cash and a fondness for richness and depth. Perhaps I enjoy cashmere and purple and spas. I might be a fan of winter, artisan chocolates and interesting cheeses. Perhaps I travel.
What do I know about you, Mr/Ms Pilsener/Chardonnay/Martini? That you like things a little more predictable, are a fan of fruits and herbs, you might have an upbeat personality, you like warmer climates and salads and that you consider yourself a trendsetter and an edge-cutter and that marketing works on you....that can be the only explanation for martinis, all of which taste like hospitals.
So, play the game the next time you are bellied up in an airport lounge. See if the drink matches the expectation. What you drink just might be speaking who you are to the world.