A truth serum beer for Clinton and Trump
Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn sends candidates a special beer
September 9, 2016
What if there were no more tricky semantics, no more doubletalk, and most importantly, no more lies?
In the aftermath of the UK’s highly political Brexit vote, people at the independent Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn had similar thoughts. So it set out to come up with a brew that would make politicians tell the truth.
Called Smoke & Mirrors, the limited-edition beer contains ingredients meant to make it act as a “truth serum.”
To test the product–and to build brand buzz here in the U.S.–the company sent cases of the beer to the headquarters of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The hope was to get them to tell the truth–and to sell beer, of course.
What was promoted
Smoke & Mirrors, a limited-edition beer from Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn.
Why this stunt
Innis & Gunn has a small footprint in the U.S., so the company wanted to use the presidential election buzz to get noticed in the States.
The idea for the beer sprouted after the very partisan Brexit vote.
“We are always experimenting with new flavors and brewing processes, and this idea was inspired by today’s political climate,” Dougal Sharp, founder and chief executive officer at Innis & Gunn, tells Media Life.
“We thought, what if it was possible to brew a beer that could make politicians tell the truth?”
The beer rolled out toward the end of August, and the company plans to promote it through election day.
How it worked
The brewery needed a recipe that included some sort of “truth serum.”
What it came up with was a brew that included licorice root, mullein and vine essence, natural ingredients known to aid the “truth-enhancing process.”
To jumpstart the word-of-mouth, Innis & Gunn sent a case each to Trump and Clinton headquarters, which are both based in New York.
The case contained only six bottles apiece, though. The brewery didn’t want either candidate getting too tipsy on the job.
Why it worked
In an election year, anything an advertiser does to glom onto the race is a smart move.
How it was received
The stunt has received a modest amount of social media buzz. There have been shares and re-tweets on Twitter.
The real boon is the news coverage it has received from beer-focused websites and publications, as well as more mainstream outlets such as Yahoo and People.
In fact, one writer for People gave the beer a try, writing that it “might not have clinically proven truth-telling powers, but drink enough of them and you’ll be speaking some version of the truth to the powerful, the weak and literally everyone in between.”
As for the candidates’ opinions? Innis & Gunn is still waiting.
“We have yet to receive a response from Clinton or Trump,” Sharp says.
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