Friday, November 17, 2006

Magner's Irish Conservative Party

I’m not sure what to write about this week. I have two topics on my mind: David Cameron and the newly revitalised Conservative Party and Magners Irish Cider.

I must admit I’ve never tried Magners Irish Cider. I’ve seen a lot of people drinking it down the pub.

You need two hands to drink Magners, since you have to carry both the bottle and the glass at the same time. The glass is full of ice. You pour the cider from the bottle into the glass while trying to look cool. It’s very fashionable right now.

I’ve also seen a lot of well constructed adverts on the TV.

If you notice the emphasis is on naturalness and on the cycle of the seasons. So they bring out a new advert for every season. The current one starts with a flying shot over an orchard with people picking apples, followed by soft-focussed shots of trees and apples blending into soft-focussed shots of fire-places and flickering flames and jolly-looking people sipping cider from clinking glasses full of ice.

“The wonderful thing about this time of year,” says the voiceover, “is that you can always be sure of quite a gathering.”

As it happens I have no need to drink Magners Irish Cider to know what it tastes like. It’s cider. It tastes like cider.

In Ireland it’s not called Magners. It’s called Bulmers. They changed the name so we wouldn’t confuse the two. They share the same name because they are, in fact, pretty much the same.

They are both cider.

Cider is cider is cider.

It’s a traditional alcoholic beverage made from apples. It doesn’t matter what you call it, or what label you put upon it, whether it’s from Ireland or from the West Country or from anywhere else in the entire world. It doesn’t matter whether you pour it over ice or drink it straight from the bottle. It’s cider.

Here in Kent we make Biddenden cider. I’m always surprised that you can’t buy Biddenden's in more pubs since it is, in fact, a very good cider.

And if you like cider, then I would recommend the single varietal ciders they sell in Threshers. Katy is very distinctive and very strong and I’m sure it would taste lovely poured over ice.

The point about Magners is that by adding that all-important word “Irish”, by the addition of a gimmick and a powerful marketing campaign, they have managed to re-brand an old product into something that appears new.

Not unlike David Cameron and the Conservative Party then. Talk about old cider in new bottles.

Magners Irish Cider: time dedicated to you.

David Cameron and the Conservative Party: wealth dedicated to itself.

Some things never change.


Chandira said...

Yeah, I've had a pint or 3 of Bulmers.. Why are people so fooled?
Personally, I used to like Dry Blackthorn. ;-)

Funny, cider over here is regular apple juice, no alcohol.

Chandira said...

And wow, I just noticed I come after Noam Chomsky on your link list..
I come after Robert Anton Wilson on another friends', I'm honoured, ~and feeling guilty about all the cat-blogging.. ;-)

RichardSkween said...

This has been bugging me too. Bulmers must think that ad-money was ridiculously well-spent - turning a cheap brew that few bother with into some expensive lifestyle choice. Even if you buy the cans in the offy it costs loads, and all the while the other brands are sat there on cheap-as-chips offers. I don't think I'd be so bothered but i'm on the wagon.

But yes, take your point about the Tories. Choose from a new set of choices we've chosen for you!