George Best, the George Clooney of Barley Wine?

by Eve Resnick on October 5, 2010

in General

You might have read on the story on George Best’s barley wine. Didn’t? Here is a quick up to date: George Best was a UK football star who drank himself to death, even after a liver transplant. His last words were supposedly: “Don’t die like me”.  Was it a good idea to let his name endorse an alcoholic beverage? At first sight, the answer is “no”. The case is even worse when reading the ad: “This limited release all malt barley wine has been brewed in homage to the famous soccer player George Best, who we hope would favour this rare ale. Barley wines are, like George, a dying breed and we hope to revive this beer style.”
That’s it: I agree 100% with the author of, Abe Sauer. This campaign is an absolute “no no”. But could it be turned around? The story has the making of a success. We have a deceased champion whose addiction to alcohol drove prematurely to his grave. We have a barley wine (for what it is) trying to get on the market and to appeal to the values of a great champion. Why not donate part of the profit of the sale to some charity helping former alcoholics or former champions down their luck? It might help the cause of this quite unfortunate wine and transform one of the poorest branding strategy I came across in an acceptable one.

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