Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lazy Sunday # 334: Don’t Drink That!

Hot day. Cold beer.

It’s a simple formula, internationally understood and embraced everywhere but the UK, a place not especially noted for dealing logically with warm weather.

Probably from lack of experience…


The rest of us relish an icy beverage during the heat of Summer. And advertisers go out of their way to slake that thirst. Beers are showcased on tropical beaches and sidewalk patios. They’re shown bursting out of glaciers and stuck atop snowy mountains. They’re surrounded by babes in Bikinis and guys wearing shades.

But nobody ever drinks them on camera.

That’s because there’s this weird advertising rule which states that alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed on camera.

The first time I was hired to do a beer commercial, this rule was beaten into my head by virtually everybody on set. “Whatever you do, don’t drink the beer! It’s not allowed!”.

Okay. I was a considerate and co-operative performer. Although it seemed like a pretty arcane, straight-laced rule instigated by the temperance lobby or some other despicable authoritarian…

And then I saw what they did to make the beer look so damn icy cold and enticing.

Somebody popped an Alka-seltzer in the glass to make sure it had a head that foamed over the rim.

Somebody else dripped yellow dye in it to achieve the color deemed most appealing to the core demographic.

And somebody else sprayed it with glycerine to replicate real drops of condensation.

Then they did a whole lot more. To the point that when the money shot arrived, you didn’t even want to touch that damn glass, let alone lift it anywhere near your face.

That was decades ago and yet, even when the enhancements aren’t used, you still can’t drink a beer in a commercial.

It’s a taboo that isn’t going away.

Although some people are having fun with it.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

No comments: