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Sunday 2 October 2016

Is this the most absurd publicity campaign of the year?

The alcohol business is cut-throat and ultra competitive. Everyone is looking for an edge, or an angle, to gain publicity for their brand.

That leads to some pretty bizarre marketing campaigns, although one currently being run in Australia for Hendrick's Gin surely takes the biscuit for banality.

Hendrick’s, for those in the dark, is a Scottish-distilled gin infused with essences of cucumber and rose. 
In a bid to lift its profile, it announced it is embarking on a horticultural quest to create and cultivate a "world-first Australian cucumber". 

To come up with a campaign so arcane, so anal, must take a real skill. 

The Hendrick's PR people boast that: "nurtured by social media and grown in an environment composed of this country’s most iconic ingredients, the ‘Unusually Australian Cucumber’ is set to be the most unique cucumber in history, and everyone is invited to be part of the process."

Other than the fact that something is either unique or not, I cannot see the Australian masses flocking to the ballot box after being "invited to vote for the most unusual Australian ingredients to develop the distinctive growing formula in the soil" for the cucumber seeds.

Once they have done their duty, however, Robyn McConchie, Professor of Horticulture and Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney (who must have been paid quite a lot to take part in this charade), will take over. 

Professor McConchie says (according to the PR blurb): “To develop a unique cucumber variety cultivated with Australian ingredients is a testimony to the innovation of Hendrick’s Gin. It’s never been done before, and the team at the University of Sydney and Abundant Produce are excited to be a part of this world-first experience.”

The seeds, we are told, will be serenaded by musicians playing classic Australian tunes and willm ultimately produce "a cucumber set to be the ultimate Hendrick’s accompaniment".  

I can hardly restrain my excitement. I certain won't be writing about this absurd publicity grab. 

Oh, wait. 

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