Bacardi. Together? No Tah.

The Metro seems to be my go to newspaper when I want to look at advertising. It’s probably because it’s always there, it’s free, and because of that, it’s chocked full of adverts! This one was a wrap around cover some time last week, and I didn’t know what to make of it. In fact, I still don’t know what to make of it.

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So the idea is that we should all get together and drink Bacardi. Why? Well, because “Humans are better when we’re together”. It sort of makes sense. In fact, that headline is actually rather good. It conjures up some good imagery of parties, get togethers, shindigs, and sitting in a bar and drinking terrible tasting liqueur. That’s not the part of the advertisement I have a problem with. What I don’t like is the body copy. It doesn’t read correctly!

The ad starts off with quite a neutral tone of voice, but it quickly strays into an over-friendly ‘banter’ish style that I think lets the entire advert down. Sure, sometimes I do ‘hang out’ with my friends, but seeing that written down isn’t nice. It doesn’t look nice, and it doesn’t sound nice when read out loud, in fact I’d make a bold statement in saying that those words should only be uttered by American children in a sitcom. Yes, I do whinge when it’s cold, but flirt when it’s hot? Not really! They’re quite different actions to force into the same sentence. What if I want to flirt when it’s cold, and whinge when it’s hot? I also really don’t have the urge to ‘pop’ ice cubes down someone’s back.

This is me nitpicking of course, because the language isn’t exactly awful, I just don’t like it. Not only is it the choice of words, but the way it’s punctuated as well. It sounds like. Every sentence is book ended. It doesn’t really flow well. In fact, it sounds too informal. Especially with the tone of voice used. I also really dislike the use of ‘let’s face it’ in the awful sign off. We’re not reading a blog post, this is supposed to be an advert. It all reads like a very informal piece of text, and I don’t like that.

I think what makes me dislike the ad most is the tasteless little dig at the French. “Because, let’s face it, without each other, we might as well be French”. I don’t actually understand the joke. Are Bacardi trying to insinuate that everyone in France is alone? French people don’t actually have any one else other than themselves? Is it a subtle poke at the lack of manners in France, because I’ve actually found most French people to be very polite! It seems it’s a dig at the French, just for having a dig at the French, and that doesn’t sit right. How does making fun of France bring us together? Meh.

It’s late, and I don’t actually know what I’m talking about any more. I don’t like the advert, but I can’t seem to word myself correctly. The writing managed to rub me up the wrong way, and I can’t pin point my exact gripe, but I know “because I don’t like” doesn’t really cut it. Maybe it’s just me, and I’m overly sensitive, but I’m sure the idea of Bacardi.Together. could have been used in a much better way, and it seems a shame to waste such a nice line.

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7 thoughts on “Bacardi. Together? No Tah.

  1. Ed Tang says:

    I love ‘we whinge when it’s cold and flirt when it’s hot’ and I hate the very next line ‘through love, friendship and a compulsion to pop ice cubes down each other’s back’ so contrived. In all, I think it’s kind of clever but the way they’ve they’ve executed has some holes in it…which could have been avoided if they’ve have chopped out lines like ‘The friday afternoon rush-hour’ technically that brings us all together..just maybe not with people we know, or like the smell of. And what the hell is the ‘we might as well be French line about..a bit of casual racism to cement Bacardi’s pseudo Britishness…surely Bacardi is Cuban/hispanic?

  2. Shelly says:

    “It’s late, and I don’t actually know what I’m talking about any more…”

    You should have written this at the beginning and then stop to write.
    Obviously you have no idea about advertisement and different strategies of consumer persuasion.

    I would mind to explain you the strategy but since you appear to have no idea I might as well save my time.

    @Ed: The key message is NOT JUST being together with friends but about being together. How many times did strangers become friends by just standing and waiting next to each other, e.g. in the line at the subway or whatever.

    If people nitpick every single word they are not meant to understand creativity because they simply do not have the mental ability.

    • Well that’s very polite of you Shelly! I’d like to know how I’ve offended you, and the reason for your personal attacks on me, and my opinion. I know that English isn’t your first language, so maybe you didn’t understand some of the colloquial terms I used, which is perfectly understandable.

      I know what the strategy is, and not once did I need it explaining to me, but feel free to explain it to me in your terms what you thought I missed, and I’ll see what you personally got out of the advert. I’d love to know how you justify the rather xenophobic attack on the French at the end of the body copy.

      Advertising is subjective, and everyone will read into things differently. There’s no right and wrong answer, especially in opinion (of which this blog post is mine). I made it quite clear that I did not appreciate the body copy, and I thought it wasn’t an effective use of the great ‘Bacardi, Together’ line, which as stated, I still think is rather good.

      Unfortunately in advertising, copywriters DO have to nitpick every single line, because one single word can lead to the down fall of a campaign, just in the same way that art directors should nit pick over every single use of imagery for fear of scandals such as seen in the recent Dove advertisements.

      If I lack the mental ability to understand what I consider to be lazy creativity, just how is a member of the general public going to feel? Advertising is for EVERYONE, not just, as you claim, the elite few who have this innate ability to read through the lines and see how even poorly structured sentences and body copy create an “amazing advert”, which in this case, I must be missing.

      I await your response, and I want to make it clear I’m not attacking you in the slightest! I am perturbed by your hostile tone towards me, and I’d love to know why you felt my post was so incorrect.

  3. […] Bacardi? Unwept says no, thank you; at least for a […]

  4. unwept says:

    Ciaran, I think it may have to do with the legal fight Bacardi started in the European courts against the French “Loi Evin” which bans all alcohol and tobacco advertising in France.
    No doubt that they saw it as a light-hearted dig at the French and their silly ways. To me it seems merely boorish and stupid. Not only the last two lines, which no professional copy writer worth his/her salary would ever have let pass (do they even know that London is home to over a quarter of a million French people… and potential customers?), but as you pointed out the whole advert is just a lazy and badly written collection of cliches that doesn’t even have the clarity of the TV version (That, at least, was visually arresting. This one is a mess.)
    So I guess I will start my little personal boycott of Bacardi (for what THAT’s worth). But Shelly shouldn’t worry: I’ll do it in a quite sophisticated manner with maybe even a hint of irony…

  5. I think what this ad *might* be trying to do is imitate the way people think and talk when they’re in a tipsy/drunk state, and that in itself is the advert. People who enjoy being in that state regularly would connect to an ad like this, so it would improve their perception of the ‘Bacardi’ brand.

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