Monday 20 June 2016

Punk and the British Empire

Not being a royalist, I take little interest in the Birthday Honours list, so I'm rather late with this piece of news. The self-styled punks who founded the Brewdog brewery in Aberdeenshire, James Watt and Martin Dickie, have been given MBEs, which only confirms what I've always thought about these highly successful self-publicists: they're about as 'punk' as Phil Collins. The Pub Curmudgeon greeted the news with this on Twitter: So much for being punks and rebels then.

Advertisers dream of creating in the customer a feeling of personal connection with the product or a person representing the product. To varying degrees, this has been done with business people like Steve Jobs and Apple, or celebrities such as Gary Lineker with crisps. The sadness a lot of people feel when a High Street chain closes, such as Woolworth's, C&A and BHS, is another aspect of the same phenomenon of identifying with a brand.

In the case of Brewdog, it has been through irreverent and occasionally controversial (or perhaps deliberately offensive) stunts usually featuring Watt and Dickie themselves, and proclaiming they are a new kind of punk business, completely unlike anything that has gone before. It's no more than a modern twist on good old-fashioned hype really.

Facts: the Brewdog two are multimillionaires and are now Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Cheers, chaps!

Here are some punks who inexplicably were not honoured by her madge:

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