Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pubs get persuasive . . .

When I first started going to pubs, several hundred years ago, they gave very little away. As far as I can remember, the only information available to potential customers about what they could expect inside was basic in the extreme: a fine selection of quality ales; food served from 12 - 2.30 pm; that kind of thing.

But recently, publicans have got a lot more street-wise; and outside virtually every pub in town there's a blackboard or two telling you, at the very least, what's on the menu today and which major sports event you can enjoy on the giant plasma screen TV.

And I'm interested to note that now it's gone one step further, with pubs like the one just down the road from me experimenting with pure "brand advertising": communications with potential customers that provide no factual information, but attempt instead to convey a flavour of the boozer's distinctive character. (A place, in this case, where drinkers can expect to be assailed with whimsical trivia by the cheery bar-staff, apparently.)

I'm not crazy about this particular example, which seems a little too "we're all mad here, we are" to me. But I certainly find it more appealing than the sign below, which appears in the window of another pub close to where I live; one where I certainly won't be lifting a noggin and sharing a joke with my jovial host any time soon.


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