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Monied orcas, manic rodeos and a rancid moose

To some, the term “brand ambassador” conjures images of buxom young women stuffed into tight, logo-emblazoned T-shirts, deployed to hip bars and offering shots of a new, smartly-packaged, candy-flavored liquor to Millennials.

This is not me.

I’m the cad who ends up wearing the candy-flavored liquor when my saucy attempt at humor fails to cross the generational barrier and bounces off said T-shirt like a stone thrown at a trampoline.

I’ll never be a brand ambassador. In the tavern of brand marketing, I’m really more of a bouncer – at least when it comes to the “Sonoma” brand. When it comes to products that use the “Sonoma” name, I take it upon myself to ferret out those that adhere to our ethos, if not our geography, and pillory the rest in print and pixels.

To wit, I was dubious when I received a missive from the marketing people at Sonoma Cider, which proffers “organic, handcrafted artisanal ciders.” Hitting three buzzy keywords in a row suggested the handiwork of some fancy branding agency. The copy on the Sonoma Cider website reads like an outtake from the “Here’s to the crazy ones” Apple commercial. Imagine Richard Dreyfuss reciting “Out with the suits. In with the obsessives. The sages. The organic growers. The young rebels. The puzzle solvers.” It ain’t far from “The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers,” but hey, apple cider, Apple computers – there’s a relationship there, right?


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