There’s a saying in the media industry that if you’re going to screw over one PR, you might as well screw over them all.
Actually there’s not, but there really should be. Late last week I let rip on a Meantime Brewery campaign after receiving their latest gimmick that is a blatant attempt to pull the wool over the consumer’s eyes, a move not too dissimilar to the big players in the craft industry per se.
Today, it’s whisky and the Haig Club’s turn.
Now, the shiny trinket and I have history. Just like I’m wary of the perceptive qualities of clever branding and sharp marketing in the craft beer industry, I’m also growing increasingly concerned about some of the shit being pulled by the Haig and certain other compatriots.
For a start, as good as it looks, this is not a good whisky. It is an accessible dram, but only in the same way Tesco Value whisky offers few complexities, which is perhaps why their latest advertising campaign recommends eschewing age-old “rules of whisky” which, as most people will have learnt from experience, are there for a good reason.
Take for example adding mixers to a whisky. Sacrilegious to most, because doing so leaves you with little more than a sugary glass of alcoholic pop, but not to the rebellious lot at Haig. They’d even advise adding ice to kill off what little semblance of flavour is instilled within the whisky.
And then there’s the launch night, which is what got my knickers in a twist in the first place. Two new ‘branded concept rooms’ – if there ever was a wanky term – have been introduced in partnership with the Haig and Grey Goose at one of Manchester’s “most revered cocktail bars” The Living Room.
The Haig Club Clubman room – unveiled by David Beckham himself – offers its namesake whisky in a range of formats to suit all tastes, “whether you prefer it with a mixer, in a signature Haig Club Clubman or Negroni, or simply on the rocks”.
But it’s all so fake. I mean, they invited people from the Real Housewives of Cheshire, Love Island and Ex on the Beach to endorse this shit. You’ve literally got a room of celebrities pretending to be celebrities drinking a whisky pretending to be a whisky. If it wasn’t so clever I’d have almost thought they planned it!