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Just An Online Minute... Glenfiddich Tests Sea Legs, Battles Hudson River Chop

Glenfiddich Celebrates "One Day You Will" Campaign, Avanti Yacht, New York
October 26, 2010

Imagine if you will, a grey Manhattan afternoon/early evening.  And in this evening there exists a boat, docked along the Chelsea Piers, reachable only by wobbly floating dock.  And imagine if you will a wind, a wind that whips the green Hudson seas angrily, causing you to trip not once, but twice, expensive camera equipment dangling precariously over a floating raft of Bud Lights and Poland Springs bottles.  And imagine, seriously, if you will, taking off your shoes and joining a small group of other socked feet on a yacht to sample whiskey costing upwards of 2,000 bucks a bottle.  You are now entering the Just An Online Minute zone....OOOeeeeOOOeeeeeOOOO

As I am typing this, I can feel the shadow of the up-and-down, side-to-side motion of the Avanti yacht.  In fact, I am opening a window to get more air, because I kind of feel like I might hork.  This is not a strange feeling, as I woefully experienced it a good eight times yesterday due to a few things like medication, the strangely intense smell of urine coming from the bowels of the boat, and nature having its way with what I thought were my sealegs.  I guess I'm a ground hog after all.  The whiskey, oh you dastardly Glenfiddich you, actually stabilized me, so thank you, Scotsmen.

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I was so excited to see MediaPost's own super-talented writer McGee, Karl Greenberg.  Since we've moved offices a bunch of us are happily scattered about the city, so it felt good to run into a coworker I used to see nearly every day.  Karl is a gifted guitarist, screenplay-writer type, and actor -- MediaPost's very own Renaissance man.  I found Karl at the back of the boat near the hot tub time machine with Alan Lockwood, whose neck tattoo looked like the Capital building from afar, but I didn't get close to investigate.  I also found Jay Cheshes, a journalist covering food, travel, and crime, the three musketeers of a spring break experience.  Sheri de Borchgrave also found him and posed sassily for a photo.  She is a wine and spirits columnist for Cottages & Gardens magazine.  DMNews.com sent their own whiskey aficionados in the form of Kevin McKeefery and Shahnaz Mahmud.

I'm not going to pretend to be a whiskey critic.  I don't drink it, I never choose it, it reminds me of bad cigars and wet cigarettes.  I will tell you, though, that sipping it in various ages (we sampled from the light, fresh, peary 12-year-old up to the richly flavored, tongue-biting, throat-numbing 40-year-old) while a Scottish man tells tales of old oak barrels and fields of deer, is pretty enjoyable.  Add to that the milky skyline of Manhattan and water transit cutting through the Hudson around you and it's downright dreamlike.

After regaling our small, sock-exposed crew, Heather Greene, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador, and Malt Master Brian Kinsman (sorry Social Media Experts, Malt Master wins) led us below decks where my confined spaces anxiety amped up.  Caspar MacRae, Category Marketing Director, Scotch Whisky, William Grant & Sons USA, and David Bitran, Senior Brand Manager, Glenfiddich, took us through the "One Day You Will" campaign, which is lovely.  It's old-school aspiration marketing, complete with elegant urban dreams and nautical travels.  The imagery along with each age of Glenfiddich are the main flavor it evokes.  So, if you're already enjoying your fresh pear hints in the 12 year, One Day You Will experience the deep intense dried fruit of the 30 year. The campaign montage was accompanied by the almost there...nearly there...TOTALLY THERE!!! Soundtrack of The Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition." That song will always give me goosebumps. One Day You Will hear it and get goosebumps, too.

Glenfiddich should run a guerilla campaign of One Day You Won't, focusing on irresponsible drinking.  One Day You Won't taste the 40 year because you don't understand moderation and you drove your Chrysler Town & Country into the neighbor's pool.  

The campaigns are, across the board, focused on experience with an iPad app that I didn't fart around with, along with a bunch of VIP events in New York, Dallas, and California.  Will Wheeler of Maloney&Fox, the PR, marketing, & then some group representing Glenfiddich. also counts quirky Hendricks Gin as a client.  We got to talking about different food+beverage events, and I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but we've got a strawman for an event featuring hotdogs, the world's perfect food.

Off track, but at the beginning of our trip, I found myself out on the deck by the hot tub time machine, excited to pass under my girlfriend, The Statue of Liberty, when suddenly the boat turned.  "Oh man, are we going back to dock?" I said with dread, because when docked the boat rocked in a stomach-curdling way. "Oh, are we not going by the Statue?" echoed the spunky Sheri de Borchgrave. 

"Meh," came a radio voice behind us, full of landmark apathy, "Who cares, I've seen it before." 

I almost honked up my 18-year-old whiskey, spraying him with the flavor of cooked fruit.  "WHAT?!" I was all "don't take these views for granted" offended for the green lady. "You can never get enough of that view."  Turns out the radio voice really was a radio voice.  It belonged to Mark Gillespie of podcast radio show WhiskeyCast.  

Once we docked, I had to scamper off deeper into The Meatpacking District, for the adMarketplace Fall Dinner beckoned from the Soho House, which turned into quite the boisterous evening -- but you'll read more on that later.

Whiskeyfied photos are up!

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