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The ad suffers from horrible punctuation too. There should be a full stop after sweet spot, and then a new sentence: That's how it felt.... Ugly.

I don't think good punctuation would have helped this ad, but it would be a start!!! Really, bragging you paid for a sponsorship insults the fans of the PGA!!!

Yes, this is a bad ad. Someone in marketing clearly held a gun to the agency's head and said, "We spent a lot of money on this sponsorship, so we need to promote it."

There are two problems with that. The first is that this wasn't a campaign designed to deliver messages like that, and I imagine the agency tried to make that point before the client wrote this ad.

The second is that a sponsorship is supposed to serve the brand. The brand does not serve the sponsorship. If the sponsorship isn't reaching the right people and delivering brand association among them, or isn't visible enough to provide the assumed halo beyond that audience, it's the wrong sponsorship. Spending ad dollars to communicate something that is supposed to benefit the brand unto itself is foolish.

More importantly, I wonder from where you're drawing your conclusions about what makes good advertising.

The ad needs a call to action? Sorry, but I've yet to meet a consumer who doesn't assume an advertiser is trying to sell them something and hopes they'll buy it.

There's too much white space, meaning they wasted 2/3 of the ad buy? Perhaps others would recognize that in an environment of clutter, the stark, simple creative actually stands out quite nicely, eschewing category conventions of glamorous bottle shots or generic lifestyle imagery.

Competitive advertising? Right. That's a sure sign of a confident brand. Not.

You clearly don't understand this campaign or the target to whom it's meant to appeal. I don't even work for this agency, but will grant that it's an intelligent campaign meant to convey an attitude of humble confidence. It's vodka. There's nothing they can say that isn't being said by everyone else. Price on the shelf will let people know it's premium. And attitude differentiates this brand from many others out there.

Perhaps you'd be best consulting the local car dealership with regards to good advertising. I see plenty of local dealer ads that wholeheartedly embrace your approach.

-Brian Avenius
Account Director
New York, NY

This ad is good. You ad guys might not like it but watch sales increase. There is more to advertising than photoshop & being artsy fartsy.

Wow Brian and Mark, I posted this what seems like an eternity ago.

Mark, you are right there is more to advertising than being artsy fartsy. If it drives sales, then great. I still don't like the ad because it is misleading. They paid for the right to be associated with the PGA and were not named from a taste contest.

Brian, you make good points regarding the campaign. However, isn't creative subjective? I certainly am the target audience being a premium vodka drinker and golfer and that's why it caught my eye.


(BTW - thanks for posting....fun for me to revisit it)

Man, you guys don't get it. Why not be self-deprecating? People will talk about these ads...even if they are pissed off...and then people start looking for the ads and telling other people and the next thing you know, people start drinking this stuff!


I ran a great online advertising campaign based on the Harrisdirect Investor Elsie Lee. When the campaign launched, most of the management team was against it because they thought the ads were too sexy. At the end of the day, the ads drove account sign-ups and brand awareness and we ran Elsie Lee ads for 3 years.

If the Ketel One ads drive people to drink more vodka then more power to them. That is the true measure of any advertising campaign - does it increase sales, brand awareness or whatever the goals are. I do not have any visibility into their sales numbers so I can't comment on that.

BTW - between you, Mark, and Brian why the sudden interest in a post that is 7 months old? Just curious. Thanks for commenting.



I think it’s a good ad. It is obviously bring attention to their brand (You all are talking about it). People will notice it when they read through a magazine or drive by a billboard, and most importantly, they will remember it. Good or bad this gotten people thinking and talking about Ketel One. Furthermore, the sweet spot is a very common golf turn that I, a non-golfer, even recognize right away.

In this day of advertising saturation it seems that anyone who strays from the pack and does something different get noticed over those who just seem to follow and do what everyone else does. And, if I am not mistaken the point of advertising is get your product noticed and in the mind of the consumers. I know next I go to the store to cruise the liquor aisle I will take a second glance at Ketel One.

So kudos to Ketel One for trying something different, your efforts are not unnoticed.

To answer your question two comments above, this blog got linked to by Adrants.com, and people in the ad industry are finally reading it.

I have to say that "Try using more than 1/3 of a page of a full page ad buy." is probably the most inane comment about print advertising I've ever heard. Congratulations.

Yes, I know all about AdRants. I'm a loyal reader, but I didn't read my RSS feeds yesterday. I was too busy.

Regarding your comment on newspaper advertising, to be perfectly blunt, I have no problem taking "heat" on print advertising. I think they are wasting ad dollars in newspaper for this type of advertising; they should take the money they are wasting in print and move it to online. Through my years of running marketing campaigns, I have yet to see any impact on metrics from print advertising. In fact, I said as much back in March, "How about run some full page ads on pga.com and test the internet out?"


Dear PardonMyFrench Blog Writer,

Ketel One has created a distinct identity and tone of voice through this campaign and I for one am a fan as both an art director working at a creative advertising agency and as a young professional with money and time to spend on booze. Your blog post reminded me of a bad critique from a backwards middle american client who's main objective with his advertising dollars is to 'get er done'... I cringed. And I for one have never visited pga.com so don't know about the effectiveness of advertising there but do know there's a new WSJ sitting in the agency restroom everyday.

Ketel One Drinker

Mark - aka Ketel One Drinker,

Out of all the posts I received on this, your post was at least the one that picked up on my main point. Based on my experience running marketing campaigns, print advertising has done nothing measurable - visits to a website, sales, ringing the inbound call center, etc. I have looked everywhere and nothing - no correlation at all.

A full page ad in the Wall Street Journal costs $100K+ depending on length of deal, negotiation ability, color, etc. BTW - rate card for a full page color ad is $250K. My point was - really they are wasting dollars with this purchase and could be better off spending those dollars online given their creative execution.

I really appreciate your comment. Seriously. It was the main part of a post I made over 7 months ago. The other part was the positioning of their PGA sponsorship, but nobody seemed to argue with me on that.



Hi my name is jasmine ramezanzadeh we have a project due tommorow and i wanted to know a little about ketel one. what is it that they dont tell us in their so called ads? the thing is in these ads they dont say it's healthy or bad for you they just tell you to drink it here is the ad i found:

Dear ketel one drinker,
here is the recipe for our signature
take on part Ketel One
add nothing

here is what i plan to do to it:

Dear ketel one drinker,
here is the recipe for our signature
take on part Ketel One
add nothing
drink [to your] DEATH

i want to know what the after affects of ketel one drinking is. can anyone who has info on it e-mail me at:
[email protected]

please and thanks,











are you kidding, ketel one's ads are brilliant. people read them! they are funny, very dry, and very clever - perhaps a pun-like reference to how one might refer to their signature cocktail's taste?

this ad though is less funny. anything that brings to mind corporate golf shit would have to be.

Hi Special Monkey,

It has been a while since I wrote this post and/or noticed any of Ketel One's advertising. I still firmly believe that the ad I referenced above was terrible. It wasn't funny and they did not get named the preferred vodka drinker of the PGA - they paid for that right.

If their advertising has evolved since I wrote this post, that's entirely possible. I haven't seen ANY of their ads and I actually still read the print version of the WSJ. I have also not seen them online and I'm definitely in their target audience. I saw an ad for Belvedere the other day so Ketel one could definitely get my attention.

Thanks for the comment.



KTkA43 f8405v845f42mdpc8oa

jasmine ramezanzadeh, cop my joint!

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