Want your brand to demonstrate how edgy you are? Just insert “death” somewhere in the name.
On second thought, don’t. It’s being done to death.
“No, the grim reaper isn’t a partner at this cozy boîte. … Nevertheless, the cocktails created by head bartender Brian Miller are killer.” – New York Magazine
An explanation of the name appears on the bar’s website:
In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death. It was thought by some that these were death and company.
It was thought by me that “these were death and company” made no sense.
Unless, perhaps, it referred to Exhibit B, these Death’s Door Spirits.
It says here that the brand takes its name from the Death’s Door passageway between Washington Island, Wisconsin, and the Door County Peninsula. Available in gin, vodka, and whiskey, all with potent enough alcohol contents to deliver you to the actual door of death if you don’t “savor responsibly.”
What to wear on our macabre rounds? I nominate Exhibit C, the Sudden Death top from Bailey 44, which Nordstrom carries in red, white, and black. “Sudden death” is a sports term, but it’s hard to ignore the suspicion that this model may want to kill you.
Note to restaurants: We no longer gasp at “to die for” in your advertising. But allusions to the mass poisonings-by-beverage at Jonestown in 1978 are not cool, or Kool. According to AdFreak, the AdWeek blog, Hacienda Mexican Restaurants took down its “We’re Like a Cult with Better Kool-Aid” billboards in Indiana after two weeks of “public outcry and drubbing in the press.”
AdFreak’s comment: “A restaurant chain bold enough to associate itself with poison, misery and death? Yum, I'll have seconds!”
“Dead” brands previously mentioned in this blog include Dead Letter Office wine and Dead Fish restaurant. I’ve also written about euphemisms for death. Perhaps some intrepid entrepreneur will choose one of those euphemisms for his next venture. “Just Add Maggots” is rather catchy, don’t you think?