I’M NOT USUALLY one to make an impulse buy based solely on packaging or marketing.
In fact, I’m more often baffled at how packaging and marketing manage to be such successful tools in psychological manipulation.
I’m also the kind of person who, when it comes to psychological manipulation and social psychology, if presented with a study like the infamous Milgram or Stanford prison experiments asks, “Why in the hell would anyone sign up to participate in a study in the first place?”
But there’s an exception to every rule, and earlier today as I stood in the beer aisle of the Santa Rosa Whole Foods store on Yulupa Ave., lured in by their 20% off beer sale, I made just such an impulsive purchase based on nothing more than a Pavlovian response to marketing.
Granted, I’d already bent to the will of marketing when I visited the Whole Foods store because of their advertised beer sale, but I’d like to think there was a practical aspect to the heed of that call. I’m going to buy beer anyway, so why not try to do so at a reduced price?
Still, the beers I normally buy tend to be a calculated purchase based on recommendations, prior experiences, personal preference, etc. I don’t normally pluck something off the shelf because of the way the label looks.
But that’s exactly what I did today when I saw a bottle of Jester King’s Black Metal Imperial Stout sitting on the shelf, peering back at me. I like black metal. I like Imperial stout. How could I not want to buy this beer? Congratulations, Jester King. I am putty in your hands.
North Coast Brewery’s Old Rasputin is usually my go to when it comes to Imperial stouts, but I’ll report back shortly as to whether Black Metal lives up to the hype, or whether it was all sizzle and no steak. Or all face paint and no demonic rituals, I guess would be a more proper metaphor?
Coincidentally, it appears Jester King is based out of Austin, TX, much like the 1980s hair metal band Dangerous Toys who I’ll be posting about soon.
In the meantime, Jester King’s site can be found here.