Too much work for a drink

One of my general admonitions for clients about their trademarks is that they should neither turn them into plurals nor chop them off to make nicknames.  There are exceptions to every rule – Coca-Cola became Coke, and Federal Express became FedEx, with little damage to the brand’s renown or image.

I am not so sure it works as well in this case:

I’m sorry, “Belve” just does not roll trippingly off the tongue. It’s too close to “belch.” Is it a combination of “belch” and “hive,” perhaps? Do you want to know? Do you hear yourself asking the bartender for a Belve and tonic, or a Belve martini straight up with a twist? No, you don’t, because it sounds ridiculous.

Then, to the ad itself: Tying “Belve” to “Believe,” with the inserted “ie” in a blurred, tomato-red font? All I can read there is “Lie.”  And I doubt that’s what they intended. But what did they intend here?  Believe in bloody Mary flavored vodka? Believe that this couple is getting dangerously close to Newport cigarette ad territory?

Alternatively, we can probe other paths they can take with Belve: “It’s twelve, time for Belve!” “Don’t shelve the Belve!” Or not . . .

Once again, I can only fall back on the immortal words of Lucille Bluth: I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.  And don’t forget while we’re talking Bluth lore (or at least I am, as I’ll never stop), vodka goes bad once it’s opened.