“A whiskey by any name remains whiskey” was written by R Nadeswaran previously published on Malaysiakini
Advertising guru Harmandar Singh is known to all and sundry as “Ham”. And when the controversy over hot dogs arose two years ago, all that was said in humour was that “Ham has been left untouched”.
His friends (of all races and religions) have yet to desert him although his name may not be acceptable to a few.
He still continues to influence people with his brand of wit and humour and most of all, he has company whenever he goes for his nip.
Therefore, the furore caused by a handful of politicians, NGO officials and religious leaders over Timah whiskey has injected some humour into an already depressed populace.
These personalities already got their two minutes of fame on television and I have taken the stand that their voices should be treated as noise and taken with a generous pinch of salt.
If only some of these commentators had got out of their tempurung, and explored the world outside their homes through books, television programmes or via their personal computers at home, perhaps their mindsets and the approach to the issue would have been different.
The hullabaloo they have caused could have been avoided if only they knew something or made an attempt to understand trademarks, marketing and brand names.
If only they had used Google (and this is not a free promo for the search engine!) they would not have ended as butts of jokes.
The comments have been extreme and gave glimpses of their mindsets. Some of them even suggest “killing” the brand after so much was invested in it.
Now, jumping on the bandwagon, will the teaching profession come in to protest because there’s a whiskey called Teacher’s or will immigration officers refuse to issue passports because there is a whiskey called Passport? Will they inadvertently or deliberately draw in the rulers by insisting the word “royal” be removed from Royal Salute?
But then again, if they discover (through Google again) that there are breweries and distilleries in the West Bank, would they call for an end of humanitarian aid to Palestine?
The West Bank is home to Golden Arak Ramallah and the people of Palestine don’t miss a good thing and have no qualms of enjoying their tipple. The Tabyek brewery not only produces beer but also organises the annual Oktoberfest.
It would be certainly improper to spoil their party (pun intended) and prick their bubble but what if Google revealed that there’s a wine in the name of their leader?
They can hail the Australian winery for producing bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon under the Hadi brand.
On the other hand, if it is looked at transversely, they may demand that imports be banned.
From Jordan comes Abu Nawas Arak
There is also a Taiwanese whiskey called Omar and the list goes on and on. It is not in the least suggested that a mob marches to the Australian High Commission or Taiwan’s Trade Office in Kuala Lumpur to protest.
From Jordan comes Abu Nawas Arak and from other small distillers and brewers around the globe come beers and wines with funny-sounding names.
If they find brand names offensive, will the Customs officers at our entry points be asked to keep a lookout for a beer called Porkslap?
Or with the local rage against the LBGT community, the import of Transsexual beer be banned?
Or will they have no objections to Polygamy Porter because it “promotes” multiple wives?
Will British brewer Young’s Dirty Dick be shown the two fingers?
Will Carrington Brewer’s Sheepshagger suffer the same fate?
Will they object to Skinny Lager because it insults thin people?
Since 1954 when it was first produced, there have been no protests from monasteries because Mohan Breweries in India produces Old Monk rum and beer.
Asking wine connoisseurs: Would you like a glass of the Bitch or the Arrogant Frog? There are other choices too.
You will certainly be impressed with FAT Bastard, a fast-growing brand selling over 400,000 cases per year in the United States alone. BusinessWeek has called FAT Bastard a “marketing phenomenon”.
Another winery has taken a different approach in marketing by catering to women and has appropriately been named Mad Housewife Wine. Its tagline – “What’s domestic bliss without a little wine?”
Then there’s this wine named because of a mistake. The name originates from the fact that the workers mislabelled the grape type for such a long time that they decided to call it Oops!
There are scores of others to pick from – Elephant on a Tight Rope, Frog’s Piss, Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush and even Blasted Church.
For feline lovers, there’s a series of other plonks – Fat Cat Chardonnay, Sally Cat Pinot Noir and Tom Cat Merlot.
And if you are fed up with all the alcoholic names, here’s something to sober you up – Devil Brand Coffee and the tagline is: Wake the hell up!
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