Posts from 30th August 2006

Aug 06

MARY HOPKIN – “Those Were The Days”

FT + Popular39 comments • 7,788 views

#259, 28th September 1968

If you want an illustration of how much closer together the pop world of the 1960s seems compared to today’s, consider this sequence of events:

1. Teenage girl wins reality TV talent show.
2. Member of most famous and respected band in the country offers her a contract on an extremely high-profile new indie label.


Brandwatch: Smirnoff Source

FT + Pumpkin Publog8 comments • 3,611 views

Another week, another new big idea from the drinks giants – Smirnoff Source is that holy grail of the alcopop sector, booze water. Or “alcoholic sparkling water” to give it its full title. Aside from the sparkling element yr reaction is obviously: OK, just add water to vodka. Except don’t, because it tastes very nasty. But there’s a flavour element here too – it’ll come in lemon and orange flavours, with hints of the fruit.

This could potentially solve a major problem with alcopops: they are, in general, way too sweet and sickly. On the other hand I liked the idea of lightly flavoured non-alcoholic water too (Evian Twist Of Lime or whatever its called) – which are all catastrophic because the sweeteners are so strong in the flavour, much beyond the fruit. Since just squeezing a lemon into a glass of water produces very refreshing and tasty results I’m not sure why this is so difficult to get right. But I digress.

There is potential for Smirnoff Source – if Diageo’s other big launch (the boozy smoothie Quinns) succeeds it’ll confirm to the industry that there’s a market for less sweet and more natural flavours in the world of booze-that-doesn’t-taste-like-booze. They’re talking up Source as a refreshing competitor for lager, not as a rival to alcopops, which may just be brandshare protection for Smirnoff Ice but is going in the right direction.

UK readers will have to wait a bit to find out if they’ve got it right as Smirnoff Source is only being launched in Texas. (Fact of the day: alcopops are called malternatives in the US. Ew.)

The 32 Names Of Ghaddafi*

Blog 7 + FT + The Brown Wedge/Post a comment • 1,158 views

Also known as "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Arab Libyan Popular and Socialist Jamahirya"Good ole whassisname. Libyan President. It changes a bit. Well here is how much it changes, from The Straight Dope. Why did I need to know? I guess because of the Opera which Asian Dub Foundation and the ENO have been kicking around like a football for ages, finally leaping on to stage next week.

So for your delight and delectation: here are the 32 Western spellings from the US Library Of Congress records**.