December 2011

Sake Marketing - A Retraction In The Making!

Posted by Beau Timken in 2011, December, Newsletter
In the November Issue of the True Sake Newsletter I wrote a tongue and cheek piece about the sake world needing a face - a public persona - a mascot if you will that would appeal to all and represent the sake industry as a Spuds MacKenzie represented Budweiser. (Here is a link to that article with funny pics.)

I got a lot of pretty funny emails mostly with giggles and LOL's! But I also got an email from a large player in the sake world by the name of Philip Harper who is a sake maker in Kyoto. (I'm fairly certain that you know his story - I've documented it many times in past newsletters.)

True Sake Hey, Beau. We put in batch no. 5 today, and everything is rolling along in the rickety way of the beginning of the season. Our first batch of wild yeast yamahai took off like a rocket: it's always nervous until the first round has done its thing. We have loads of customers waiting for the freshly pressed stuff in December, and it would be very painful to have to say "Sorry, the first batch just sat there like rice pudding".

I just read your November newsletter. You will be pleased to learn that the Central Brewer's Union has beaten you to the punch with a mass-appeal, True Sake easy-to-understand, cute, cool and lovable character to convey in a flash the appeal of what we do and what we make. Enter Ochoko-kun - Sake Cup Boy. Picture attached.

(Glad you "enjoyed" O-choku-kun.) I had a terrible experience last year in Ikebukuro at the Sake Fair. It was the 1300th anniversary of the Nara City capital, and O-choku-kun was there in collaboration with Nara's own Sento-kun, another awe-inspiringly creepy character (picture attached - ha!). I was trying to pretend I wasn't there, but the then deputy head of the Central Brewer's Union caught me and insisted on having me shake hands with Sento-kun as a former citizen of Nara. The things I've suffered in the service of sake.
I stand corrected Philip, but I will say this, I think Sake Dude would be more effective than Sake Cup Boy. (Perhaps they could be sidekicks!)

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