So bad it’s good.

Green River Ad

Green River Ad


I was stopped in my tracks yesterday, flipping through the newspaper. I saw this ad. Zero art direction. Zero copy. But…but…it had a secret ingredient. It was…TRUE!

Green River. Lo-fi? This defines lo-fidelity. But there was something about its innocence, its tonality, and its presence that I couldn’t deny. I read every word. Even the stores that carried it. And they were good, cool stores. And that further amplified my belief in the brand. It broke every rule. It used exclamation marks! It mixed fonts. It had snipes, call outs, even the freaking flag of the Great City of Chicaga! It had a million logos.

Try to read the copy. Here are a couple of my favorite lines — and I promise you, I am not being ironic here, I’ll explain more soon, but first: “The soda was poured into old beer bottles and sold in the market.” Love it. Or, how about this: “Today, we celebrate Green River’s history!”

If you think I’m just joshing with you, I am not. Tito’s Vodka, a brand that has taken the very difficult to penetrate premium vodka market by storm, used a very similar approach. Flatfooted honesty. I think Howard Gossage would be smiling at this lo-fi ad. And to lean back on Chairman Bill again, he would agree, I think, at least in as much as he said, “I’ve got a great gimmick – let’s tell the
truth.”

Oh, and I for one, am going to be on the look out for Green River. Heck, Al Jolson even recorded a song written about it!!!!!!

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2 thoughts on “So bad it’s good.

  1. Let’s start with the name…these days what branding guru would propose a name that conjures up the stinky Chicago river. But it’s awesome!

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