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Dear Ketel One Marketing Department...
October 3, 2007 6:27 PM   Subscribe

"My dad started crying, I started crying, my brother started crying," says Carl Nolet Jr., who sounds on the phone like he's not kidding. "It was exactly what we wanted to say. It was simple, it was black and white, it was genuine."

Dear Ketel One Drinker
Don't You Like Our New Oh So Minimalist Ads?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur (89 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
In before "I didn't know Kettle One was blue".
posted by now i'm piste at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2007


Okay, so you don't like the Ketel One ads? Ignore 'em, and while you're at it, quit drinking pretentious booze. Drink Stoli or Starka like real Russians do.
posted by pax digita at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2007


This actually is a decent concept that they just half ass executed. If they had done something really dry and witty/absurd, I feel like they might have had something.

And if you are going to pay that much to get ketel one, really just go all the way and get the grey goose, totally worth it. I'm not a vodka expert, but I know what doesn't give me a hang over, ever.
posted by whoaali at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I only drink rain water and pure grain alcohol.
posted by Poolio at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


Never a good idea to involve Hitler in your marketing.
posted by autodidact at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


clearly a case of a shot calling ketel the new black
posted by pyramid termite at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2007 [8 favorites]


What?

Sure, I've seen 'em and was as midly irritated by them as any other ad. But you just wrote about them being in the Washington Post.

Or is this the same thing as being "an anti-ad [that is] just an ad that doesn't have the guts to admit to what it is?"
posted by OrangeDrink at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2007


Drink Stoli or Starka like real Russians do.

Or failing that, drink Georgi like real park bench drunks do.
posted by jonmc at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2007


What's the word?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2007


Thunderbird.
What's the price?
posted by jonmc at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Daddy drinks because you cry.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


20 dollars same as in town.

Damn. Then I think I'll take the Stoli...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2007


Thirty twice
How's it sold?
posted by jazon at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


you buy and I will drink any brand.
posted by Postroad at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2007


Perhaps the crying part is true, but from laughter.
posted by Brian B. at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2007


Ice cold.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2007


Dear Ketel One drinker,
Can you imagine a better way to increase brand awareness than to a whole set of blog posts devoted to trashing our advertising?
posted by Nelson at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Start with 200 proof ethanol, USP. Dilute to taste with Milli-Q or equivalent deionized water, 18.2 Mohm-cm. .22 micron filter. Serve chilled in 15 mL or 50 mL blue-top conical tubes (Falcon).
posted by monocyte at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


So stop writing me love notes Dutchie and get back to making vodka.

Oh, if I had a glass of vodka for every time someone said that to me.


I'd have two glasses of vodka.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:54 PM on October 3, 2007


I admit every time I'm in the subway, and I see some new movie advertisement with a picture of someone with their mouth open, and right next to it is a freshly drawn penis, I have to think, are these ad guys just asking for it?
posted by fungible at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to leave the house to have seen?
posted by interrobang at 6:57 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dear Ketel One Advertising Victims

Mission Accomplished TYVM.
posted by localroger at 7:00 PM on October 3, 2007


That WashPo article annoyed me more than those ads would if they were in my area.

Ketel One is horrible stuff - and overpriced. I'm kind of hoping that Finlandia is happy with its sales numbers and not push to become another Budweiser or Coors and alter the product.

Where is N. American Stoli's distilled and bottled? I know N. American Smirnoff is made in Palo Alto, CA.
posted by porpoise at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2007


smirnoff is wonderful and reasonably priced.

those robot women in the heiniken draft keg ads FREAK ME OUT.

anyone else afraid of those robot women?
posted by vrakatar at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2007


Bah. The best booze ad was already mentioned. The second best: "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

That's an ad that speaks to beer drinkers.
posted by eriko at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always said "White space is your friend".
posted by spock at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2007


Isn't vodka supposed to be .. y'know, tasteless? And therefore unexciting?

Ah. Thus the minimalism. Gotcha.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2007


Ice cold.

how's your liver?

all aquiver
posted by pyramid termite at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2007


From the Washington Post article, this sentence caught my eye:

Snob appeal used to revolve around what you had that others couldn't afford; now it's what you know that others haven't heard about.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Van Gogh gin is excellent (vodka sucks).

Gin and Tonic forever!
posted by oddman at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


What, you didn't know that already, Jasper Friendly Bear? Got no time for you.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


oddman, vodka does not suck. vodka can be mixed with anything, or taken by itself. gin is okay. vodka is better.

kettle one does suck, however.
posted by vrakatar at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2007


Every time I see the word "Ketel" I get the urge to buy some shoddy compilation music albums.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Never drink the stuff, but I like Tony Sinclair, the overwhelmingly self-confident character who pushes Tanqueray Gin.
posted by cenoxo at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2007


...so Ketel One's marketing strategy kind of works on me.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2007


When I read the article I couldn't understand the frustration of the writer at these ads. Then I looked at the ads. There's something horrific about them, and it's not the font.
posted by niccolo at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2007


It is the favorite vodka of Ray Smuckles, a cartoon cat who wears a thong.

I'm a Wyborowa man myself.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2007


But it's working... ordered by one of Tony's paisans in an episode of "The Sopranos" and has made cameos in such films as "Garden State" and "Something's Gotta Give."

Em, is that evidence that the hype is "working", or did they not just also pay for product placement? Would The Sopranos just include a brand like that without some incentive?
posted by dreamsign at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2007


I'm partial to Chopin.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:12 PM on October 3, 2007


Dear Ketel One

If you continue to steal my marketing ideas I will rain down on you with great vengeance.

God
posted by nosila at 8:15 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I did some research and found out that Ketel One has been family-owned for ten generations, and all they do is make straight unflavored wheat vodka.

Compare that to the brands and marketing practices of Diageo, Fortune Brands, Constellation Brands, and Brown-Forman (I'd give long odds, reader, that one of these 4 companies owns your favorite tot, lock, stock and barrel) and it seems like Ketel One is about as far from Pepsi Blue as you can get and still be available in your local supermarket.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ooh, Oooh! I just remembered my favourite booze ad ever.

St. Ides malt liquor
Get your girl in the mood quicker
posted by Nelson at 8:24 PM on October 3, 2007


What, nobody's mentioned Tito's Vodka yet?
posted by Addlepated at 8:25 PM on October 3, 2007


This actually is a decent concept that they just half ass executed.

Agreed. The ads are no great shakes either.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:26 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The thing that's always gotten me about Ketel One is that it does have a flavor. It's a good flavor, but a flavor nonetheless. It doesn't taste as clean as most vodkas, but I like it in a (vodka)martini (shut up gin drinkers, if it was good enough for Bond, it's good enough for me) because there is a flavor behind it, unlike grey goose, etc.
posted by mikesch at 8:28 PM on October 3, 2007


I like a vodka that you're not familiar with. It's made in Karelia out of durum wheat and the (desalinized) tears of virgin orphans. Sure it's expensive, but you need only the best when you're dealing with a product like vodka. Vodka has so many ingredients-- both water AND ethanol-- that you need to spend tons to ensure the product is superior.

(All right; the vodka is called "Cossack" and I have it on good authority that many package stores are unfamiliar with it and subsequently have it mismarked SCANDALOUSLY low. You should buy out the stock, telling your friends that you paid a mint for it and also telling them that Cossack Vodka is exquisite and the next big drink.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:32 PM on October 3, 2007


I actually drink Ketel One because of the aforementioned thong-wearing cartoon cat, Ray Smuckles. I think I've seen these ads once or twice and they made absolutely no impression. It just goes to show that if you get your liquor included in Achewood there is at least one schnook out there who will buy a bottle and be converted.

And I agree with mikesch, it does have a flavor - kind of soapy. Ketel One and grapefruit juice is like a warm morning shower in a hot, crowded nightclub.
posted by crinklebat at 8:43 PM on October 3, 2007




Kram it up your wrinkly shitter!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:47 PM on October 3, 2007


royal gate puts the "aaah" in vodka. LOL.

From the Washington Post article, this sentence caught my eye:

Snob appeal used to revolve around what you had that others couldn't afford; now it's what you know that others haven't heard about.


Indie rock, anyone? C'mon. It's part of every aesthetic/industry/affectation. Those in the know vs. those not in the know. If there's an ad for it anywhere in the world, however, it's nearly too late to be "cool."

Capital w Whatever. I still hate those ads. Waste of paper, but it's all crap. Is a white page better than a pretty ad? Who really cares? Life sucks. Let's get drunk.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:55 PM on October 3, 2007


Oh, first world problems.
posted by dantsea at 8:58 PM on October 3, 2007


Show of hands: how many people inadvertently read every instance of "Carl Jr." in the article as "Carl's Jr."?
posted by Remy at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2007


What's the reason?
Grapes in season.

Where we drinkin'?
Back of the Lincoln.
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 9:42 PM on October 3, 2007


ISTR paging through a Teen Magazine long ago and finding an ad for some acne treatment or facial cleanser. The ad was a nearly blank page; at the bottom were instructions to (1) smear the magazine page around on your face (2) check out all the guh-ross oil that rubbed off, and (3) buy the skin product.

So that's what I think of whenever I see those Ketel One ads.

Dear Ketel One Drinker
Excess Sebum
posted by tss at 10:17 PM on October 3, 2007


Actually, Ketel One originally made genever (also written as jenever). Which is really good. (Tastes like a cross between whisky and gin.) Nobody in the Netherlands was making vodka in 1691.

I've never tried their vodka. I just wished they'd import their genever into the US so I didn't have to hoard the bottle of it that I got in Amsterdam.

/rant
posted by Hactar at 10:32 PM on October 3, 2007


from the article-
It's been true for so long that consumers have fine-tuned their own internal defense system, which automatically and unconsciously spots ads and filters them out before they can register. Ketel One, or rather its ad agency, knows that. So the essential components of clutter -- color, cars, cleavage -- have been swapped for the opposite of clutter. It's like a guy in a noisy room who won't speak above the din, which tricks you into leaning in close to listen.


i've never drank Ketel or have seen these ads. But ITS SO WIERD to see a journalist complaining that an advertisement isn't using " color, cars, cleavage" to sell someting.

that's usually the point where i start paying attention to something.
posted by localhuman at 10:59 PM on October 3, 2007


Personally, I prefer Burnett's vodka. It is quadruple distilled, smooth, doesn't give me a hangover, and cheap. Looking at their website, I see that they have 15 flavored vodkas. I wasn't aware that they did flavors so I guess a trip to the liquor store is in order.
posted by CuJoe at 11:27 PM on October 3, 2007


Oh, the bliss of ignorance.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:25 AM on October 4, 2007


All vodka tastes exactly the same, just like the water it mostly is. Anyone who says different is a liar and pretentious to boot, or delusional. Even using different grains has almost no impact on the taste. The variation is only ever due to the source water's mineral content and the relative cleanliness of the distilling process. I've had vodka made in bathtubs that tasted exactly like Absolut.

As for Ketel One, I thought that was for frat boys.
posted by spitbull at 4:36 AM on October 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


The weirdest alcohol ad I've seen recently was the ones for Dewar's Blended (blasphemy!) whisky, featuring Quentin Tarantino and Edward Norton proclaiming 'soy Dewarista'. This was in Madrid. It made me want to re-watch both of their movies, but not drink blended whisky. So make of that what you will.

Also, has anyone actually tried Ketel One? I'd never heard of it before now. More of a Stoli man myself. The only thing that sucks more than their pseudo-subtle advertising is the hilarious copyranter attempts at criticism that boils down to 'Ketel One? More like Ketel Suck, amirite?' Battle of the wits indeed.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:36 AM on October 4, 2007


Also, is it just me, or is the effort to be "original" in advertising starting to become as pathetic as a crack whore on Sunday morning? You have nothing new to sell, so you package it up as a new look and feel. It's still the same crap sold at Target, the same crap in the bottle, etc.
posted by spitbull at 4:37 AM on October 4, 2007


Wait, this Ketel One, it's a vodka?

LOL. Suckers.
posted by spitbull at 4:38 AM on October 4, 2007


All vodka tastes exactly the same, just like the water it mostly is. Anyone who says different is a liar and pretentious to boot, or delusional.

This is not true. My ex-wife could routinely pick out Stoli in blind taste tests. Don't ask me how she did it, but she did.

I agree with whoever commented that the article is far worse than the ads. I wanted to put a funnel in the writer's mouth and force Ketel down him until unpuncuated nonsequiturs started leaking from his eyes. That kind of juvenile snark belongs on MetaTalk, not in a fucking newspaper.
posted by languagehat at 5:27 AM on October 4, 2007


Start with 200 proof ethanol, USP. Dilute to taste with Milli-Q or equivalent deionized water, 18.2 Mohm-cm. .22 micron filter. Serve chilled in 15 mL or 50 mL blue-top conical tubes (Falcon).

Ha. And for the undergrads, it's 190 proof ethanol (denatured with kerosene!) in dirty 50 ml beakers.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 5:53 AM on October 4, 2007


All vodka tastes exactly the same, just like the water it mostly is. Anyone who says different is a liar and pretentious to boot, or delusional.

Potato vodkas taste distinctly smoother to me than grain vodkas, so, kram that up your wrinkly shitter.

(seriously, when are people going to cotton that taste is a unique sensation?)
posted by pineapple at 7:04 AM on October 4, 2007


is the effort to be "original" in advertising starting to become as pathetic as a crack whore on Sunday morning? You have nothing new to sell, so you package it up as a new look and feel.

Hear, hear!

Ah, for those halcyon days of my youth, when the clear beverage craze gave us all a reason to live.
posted by gompa at 7:15 AM on October 4, 2007


I enjoy their ads, if for nothing else than the relief from every other magazine pages' over stimulated layout.
posted by bullitt 5 at 7:16 AM on October 4, 2007


I still think the best booze ad in the world would looks something like this:

Get Fu$$ing Hammered.

But drink responsibly.
posted by shmegegge at 7:46 AM on October 4, 2007


Ooh, Oooh! I just remembered my favourite booze ad ever.

I think the best would have to be:
RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII (shift gears) NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR (shift gears) BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
posted by LionIndex at 7:56 AM on October 4, 2007


Potato vodkas taste distinctly smoother to me than grain vodkas

My neutral grain alcohol is more neutral than yours!
posted by afu at 7:57 AM on October 4, 2007


Pelvic floor exercises are profitable?
posted by norm at 8:17 AM on October 4, 2007


What on earth is wrong with that writer? These are, like, the least irritating ads I've ever seen in my life. Has he turned on a fucking TV lately?

Jesus Christ, what I wouldn't give to live in a world where all the advertisements were quiet and easily-ignored black-and-white text affairs.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:18 AM on October 4, 2007


Screw their dippy ad-campaign, the only reason I'd drink Ketel One is because it has Ray's stamp of approval.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:49 AM on October 4, 2007


Real Russians drink Russkiy Standart. That's right. They have a Standard Vodka. It's delicious by the way.
posted by zackola at 8:50 AM on October 4, 2007


I have to agree, the fact that Ketel One goes great with mixers was eventually outweighed by its dumb advertising, and so I stopped drinking it.

I've also stopped drinking Tecate because some of their radio commercials are very derogatory. I very much fear Cazadores will be heading into a similar oblivion, now that they have a huge sign that says "The one with the deer on it" on top of my bar.
posted by phaedon at 8:52 AM on October 4, 2007


Русский Стандарт, in Cyrillic
posted by zackola at 8:53 AM on October 4, 2007


Diamond Juice.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2007


"By addressing Ketel One drinkers directly and elliptically -- and with intentional errors of punctuation -- the campaign hinted at a private conversation that non-Ketel One drinkers didn't quite grasp and might be motivated to check out. This is an appeal perfectly suited to the times. Snob appeal used to revolve around what you had that others couldn't afford; now it's what you know that others haven't heard about."
Dear MeFi Cabal:

Thank you for the Mushroom Pancakes washed down with Pepsi Blue by all the Sock-Puppets at the last Meet-up. The Plate of Beans and Plo Chops were also wonderful. DaShiv and his fawning entourage appreciate the Free Cameras.

Sincerely,

Miguel Cardoso
posted by ericb at 10:06 AM on October 4, 2007


How's the wine?

(Crystal Palace was always my favorite vodka, because it had a type-written label and was $5.99 for a fifth.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2007


Booze-maker tries something different in its ads.

Well. We can't have that.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:29 AM on October 4, 2007


The Ketel One ads are obviously doing what was expected of them. I notice nearly every one I come across, usually having read the text before I even realized I was doing it. I don't know if it's selling more Vodka (I'm still a Chopin / Grey Goose guy when I drink martinis), but it's definitely getting eyeballs.

It's no different than a well designed jingle that worms its way into your ear and you find yourself humming it in the car.

Ba da ba ba ba, I'm loving it. (*drives pencil into ear*)
posted by eyeballkid at 11:59 AM on October 4, 2007


I liked the "thank you" one. Then, they just seem to have fallen down.

My ex-wife could routinely pick out Stoli in blind taste tests. Don't ask me how she did it, but she did. - languagehat

I can identify some vodkas, several whiskeys, a few gins, and several labels of scotch by taste. It's really not hard.

Klang - back at ya.
posted by rush at 12:03 PM on October 4, 2007


MetaFilter: it's what you know that others haven't heard about.
posted by lostburner at 2:09 PM on October 4, 2007


I stopped drinking vodka because I couldn't taste the difference between the $10 bottle of Smirnof and a $40 dollar bottle of fancy potato vodka. I figure there's a subtlety to it that I'm just not able to appreciate, so I'll stick to tequila and whiskey, where I can taste the quality.
posted by lekvar at 3:28 PM on October 4, 2007


the taste of vodka quality is an absence, not a presence
posted by telstar at 7:20 PM on October 4, 2007


All vodka tastes exactly the same, just like the water it mostly is. Anyone who says different is a liar and pretentious to boot, or delusional. Even using different grains has almost no impact on the taste. The variation is only ever due to the source water's mineral content and the relative cleanliness of the distilling process. I've had vodka made in bathtubs that tasted exactly like Absolut.


How did you make vodka in a bathtub?
posted by Brian B. at 8:06 PM on October 4, 2007


How did you make vodka in a bathtub?

oh, that's not hard - what i want to know is how he got the horse in the bathroom
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 PM on October 4, 2007


I use Ketel One as a litmus test for restaurants. Any restaurant that bothers to list their liquor brands, then spells it "Kettle One" is too stupid to be that pretentious. So far, it's happened twice.
posted by Durhey at 2:52 PM on October 5, 2007


Maybe they're translating it, Durhey.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:38 AM on October 9, 2007


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