When I launched The Moodie Report 16 years ago, I chose blue as the brand colour. It reflected the Pacific Ocean of my native New Zealand; the colour of my eyes (other than after a hard night on the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc); and of course an allusion to one of my favourite bands, The Moody (alas a terrible misspelling) Blues.
Even when we rebranded in 2016 as The Moodie Davitt Report, we maintained our all-blue hue, now a combo of Dermot Davitt’s stormy Irish west coast Atlantic dark blue and my idyllic southern hemisphere Pacific light blue.
But now, overnight, at a keystroke we have turned green. All though, I must point out, for a good cause. It is, after all, World Cucumber Day and we, together with our unlikely brand makeover partner, William Grant & Sons and their “most unusual” (and Cucumber-flavoured, of course) Hendrick’s Gin, have decided to celebrate in style.
We have done a few Google-style makeovers in the past but nothing, absolutely nothing, I assure you, on this scale.
In the grim old world that we all inhabit, isn’t it good to simply have some fun once in a while? I love the Hendrick’s spirit (in every sense). On 12 October, 2004 I wrote about the travel retail launch of this “most unusual gin”. Like most commentators, I had little idea just how big a brand this would become. What a triumph of creative genius, well ahead, remember, of the recent global gin boom.
But enough gravitas. This is a fun day. World Cucumber Day. If I had even pondered 16 years ago that my beloved website would be swimming in cucumbers as it now is, I would have feared a dreadful cyber attack. “Gourd, what do I do now?” I would have asked. Joyously, today’s makeover is nothing of the sort, I (William) grant you.
Think about it. In our modern, green-focused world, it’s a simply lovely thought. Given the frenetic activity at Moodie Davitt HQ in recent days, where I have spied several key members of my staff talking earnestly (suspiciously, in fact) into cucumbers while they prepare for today’s live broadcast, I decided that I, too, should become more learned about this unique green fruit. Or is it a vegetable?
As I so often do, I consulted that great 21st century authority, Wikipedia. Here’s what it tells me: “Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling and seedless.”
Ok, so now you have it. And, as you know, The Moodie Davitt Report is the most widely cultivated media in travel retail. People like to take a slice of us each day, though I hope that we’re never seedless, let alone source-less. And therefore, in this great new spirit (literal and metaphorical) of William Grant & Sons, we are delighted to convert, albeit temporarily, from blue to green.
If cucumber is indeed a member of the gourd family, then Hendrick’s Gin is surely a case of gourd almighty. Heck, for the sheer exuberance of this great global promotion and the fun it has engendered with consumers worldwide, I’m even prepared to be the travel retail face of the campaign. Then again, I suppose they’re far more likely to cast Benedict Cucumberpatch.