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“Ask Beau” – “When will we see that sake Super Bowl commercial?”

The sooner we see it the sooner I will die! Is that what you want? You want me dead? Ha! Thank you Lisa F from South Africa for your nice question. I am certain that you asked this question because you know that I have been saying this for years! Yes, my goal to further the awareness for sake is to one day have a commercial during the Super Bowl. And from the commercials that I saw this year the Super Bowl needs us! Those were some crappy commercials!

I’ve always had great faith in sake. I’ve always known that the sake market will one day take its rightful place beside wine, beer, and spirits, and we are almost there. This year because of the stewardship of Stephen and the amazing grace of Mei and our True Sake team we have achieved a level of success that I had always imagined but never believed we could obtain in a small brick and mortar store in San Francisco.

Remember when a one-minute spot during the Super Bowl went for One Million Dollars (said like Dr. Evil!)? That was crazy town! Then when at the pinnacle of the tech bubble they had that commercial of the monkey toy banging the symbols and the voice simply said, “We just spent a million dollars for this!” I am certain that with content alone we could craft a sake commercial that would at least be more entertaining and effective than the current rubbish.

Since it WILL happen one day what do you think would be the most effective commercial to communicate the true meaning of sake in one minute? About six years ago a local Bay Area Japanese TV station asked me if I wanted to do a 30 second spot during their New Year’s showing of the Seven Samurai, which had several sake referencing scenes. I was tempted but had nothing! How could I advertise the store in a funny, smart and clever way I thought? How could I stimulate the audience into wanting to rush out and buy sake? Naked! That was it I thought! I would pose naked with nothing but a 1.8L bottle (ishobin) of sake covering my private parts. And I would yell! Simply yell a primordial scream all the while staring at the camera. Effective? Perhaps but we will never know! Insane? Absolutely! The best image for sake? No, probably not!

Trust me when I say that I fantasize about a sake Super Bowl commercial. I totally do! I think about scenarios and settings. I think about cool images of super beautiful sake breweries. I think about steam rising off of mounds of freshly steamed rice in the chill of the winter air. I think about the quiet and calm face of the toji as she slowly pours the koji mold out of the can over the bed of rice. I think about a few friends with ties undone enjoying sake after work in a loud and happy looking izakaya. But none of these images will take us to the money shot! These are stoic images for sure, but they don’t scream sake to a new generation of sake drinkers.

Whatever the commercial will be it will have a similar style to our new bar True Cup, where we are taking sake past those stoic points of time and bringing sake into tomorrow. The commercial will be funny! The commercial will be clean! The commercial will be smart! And most of all the commercial will be a calling card to adventure and limitless possibilities! Yup! I’d pay 5 mil for that! Or at least I would get somebody else in the industry to pay that! And no – there will be no sake chimp! Or will there?

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