Hemingway’s bait & switch

hemingway_ballantine

Are you using the right bait? And what about the line? The New York Times Book Review published an interesting essay – “How Writers Build the Brand” by Tony Perrottet – on the strategies and tactics that authors use to promote their books and themselves.

The article calls out Ernest Hemingway, who so mastered the craft that he was able to extend his author aura to a range of brands, including Pan Am, Parker Pens and Ballantine Ale.

Image: Advertisement From P. Ballantine & Sons, Newark (1951) via The New York Times

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Sell alcoholic beverages without marketing?

Dr. Fekjær proves that trying to sell alcoholic beverages without marketing makes as much sense as trying to distribute these products without bottles. Chapter 4 shows that the perceived effects of alcohol are not inherent, but learned — dependant on the set of expectations. Chapter 8 reviews research where consumers can’t tell “better” alcoholic beverages from cheaper versions. Plus, drinkers of a particular brand seemingly are unable to distinguish that drink from others unless labeled.

Brand preference and even the product experience must be learned; marketing serves as the teacher.

# # #

The Psychology of Getting High
by Hans Olav Fekjær, MD, psychiatrist,

Part 1 – Unconscious motives for intoxicant use

Chapter 1: Intoxicants as symbols and rituals

“Having a glass of wine is so nice and cozy”
Symbols generate moods
Symbols are valuable tools
The symbolic functions of the intoxicants
Rituals and the spirit of community
Drug use as a compulsory ritual
Ceremonial chemistry
The wine snobbery and cocaine snobbery
Snobbery is not perceived subjectively

Chapter 2: Intoxication as alibi for performances

The social psychology of intoxication
Explaining behavior and performances
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Principles
The attractiveness of self-handicapping: Examples
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Principles
Intoxicants as tranquilizers: Examples

Chapter 3: Intoxication as alibi for actions

Responsibility during intoxication
Forgive them, for they know not…
A sense of freedom – for better or for worse
A strict conscience on vacation
… but more often, a permissive conscience is on vacation
Intoxication for different purposes
Advertising the alibi
The extenuating circumstance in court
What is meant by “drinking too much”?
The cause of counter reactions: Problem behavior
Do they really “not know what they do”?
Intoxication as a collective self-deceit

Part 2 – Conscious motives for intoxicant use

Chapter 4: Are intoxicants magical substances?

Magical substances or learned effects?
Research with humans and animals
How do we identify our feelings?
Can chemical effects be learned?
The power of expectations: The mighty placebo
effect

Can intoxicants be studied by blind tests?

Chapter 5: Do illegal drugs have pleasant effects?

The pioneer study of marijuana
Later research on marijuana intoxication
Do amphetamine and cocaine have pleasant effects?
Are addicts and drugs users motivated by the chemical effects?
Psychological effects of morphine and
heroin

Psychological effects of LSD, inhalants etc.

Chapter 6: What are the psychological effects of alcohol?

Blind tests with alcohol
The “Marlatt Method”
Alcohol and sex
Alcohol and inhibitions
Is alcohol a tranquilizer?
Alcohol and aggression
Alcohol, mood and self-confidence
The effects of alcohol upon skill and performance
Blind tests with alcohol – and so what?
Alcohol as a natural adulterant
The best studies: alcohol in different cultures
Learning the spell of alcohol
“Loss of inhibitions” – only now and then
The behavioral effects of alcohol – conclusions

Chapter 7: The chemistry of “getting high”

The adventurous experiences of intoxication and religion
The pharmacological basis of getting “high”
“Getting high” — not an effect, but an interpretation.

Chapter 8: Do alcoholic beverages taste good?

Taste preferences: inborn or learned?
Is alcohol of vital importance for the taste?
Do “good” alcoholic beverages taste better than “poor”?
Alcohol, taste and illusions

Chapter 9: Research on motives for intoxicant use, in perspective

From superstition to science: demystification of
intoxicants

How did alcohol and other drugs become
“psycho-active” drugs?

Chemical hypothesis or indisputable motives?
Understanding intoxicant use – is it possible?

Chapter 10: May conventional wisdom be changed?

Separating alcohol use from disinhibition
Putting theory into practice
Altered expectations give altered experiences

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Wodka Vodka billboard NYC – 09-11

Wodka Vodka billboard NYC - 09-11 graphic
Showing a man with a hand on a cylindrical object protruding from between his legs, this billboard is similar to an Absolut Twist ad. There was a time when drinking alone was condemned as leading to onanism. Now marketers promote liquor as an adjunct to masturbation.

The chair has phallic images carved into the frame.

Wodka Vodka billboard NYC - 09-11Wodka Vodka billboard NYC - 09-11 location

Installed in New York City at 135th Street and 12th Avenue, by the Amtrak train tracks and the Hudson River.

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