Resistance Is Kind Of A Weird Angle For Booze Advertising

Making gin is something chemists do. It’s complicated, like life itself.
This alchemical twist is brought to life in a new W+K Amsterdam spot for Diageo’s gin brand, Tanqueray.

David Kiefaber of Brand Freak doesn’t care for the urbane sophistication portrayed in the ad. He says it has a “smarmy, young Hugh Hefner vibe to them that I don’t appreciate.”
My own response is simple enough. Is “resisting simple” really something people want to do right now?
I’m sure the brand has studies to back up the idea, and no doubt there is a 20-something element that’s constantly seeking new experiences and complicated entaglements. But I’m equally confident that there’s another trend afoot, one where 20-somethings are looking at the excesses of older generations and saying whoa, let’s examine that decision over a Hamm’s.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. they sort of had me going until “resist simple.” do you even need to tack a bad/weird tagline on the end of a spot clearly targeted to sophisticates? more often than not, taglines just weaken the work … but clients somehow think it’s not a campaign unless you have one.

  2. These days, cryptic, uneccesary tags almost always equal Planning run amok.
    I guess the logic goes that if you’re going to pay for Planning and suck time out of the production schedule for it and spend four or five or twelve extra meetings talking about it, then by golly you better see some of it in the commercial. In that case, the easiest place to shoehorn it in is usually the tag.
    Watch TV tonight and see for yourself. The Planning-infected tagines stick out like a sore thumb. The latest trend is to adopt a grand, empowering tone that has nothing to do with the brand or how normal people actually use it. Others just come out of nowhere, with only a vague connection to the spot (see above). In almost every case, the resulting spot becomes one of those commercials we all love to hate. The kind that prompt your inlaws to ask you, the ad professional, “Why are so many commercials so stupid?” Same as it ever was, I guess. Just that now the origins of the weird disconnects that make the bad ads so bad can be traced back to PowerPoint decks filled with “learning” and “insights.” (Reminds me of that scene in The Jerk where one gang member vouches for the legitimacy of the other gang member’s obviously stolen credit card and Steve Martin replies “OK, as long as it’s got a voucher.”)
    Not that this spot is anything more than the typical “our generic product is actually superb” variety, aimed at the occasional gin drinker who doesn’t have a true preference. In that case, maybe it’s just bad in the classic sense. Does look kind of pretty though.