The book that wrote the book on ingenuity

The book that wrote the book on Kiwi ingenuity.


My sister Jane and brother-in-law Roger flew in from New Zealand for a whistle stop visit recently, leaving me with a weeklong hangover, a renewed desire to visit my home country, and a slightly dog eared copy of a brilliant new book,


Written by Geoff Ross (a former Saatchi and Saatchi ad man) and his partner Justine Troy, “EVERY BASTARD…” is the gripping tale of how these intrepid Kiwis (and their global network of tenacious mates) created, nurtured and ingeniously marketed 42 Below, New Zealand's first premium vodka.  The happy ending to this tale is the amount of money Bacardi forked over purchase 42 Below in 2009.  NZ $140 million. (Which at the current exchange rate is about USD $19.95. 

A must read for marketers, entrepreneurs and people who like lots of big pictures in their books, “EVERY BASTARD…” details how a tiny premium brand in a faraway country became an huge international success by, in large part, exploiting its New Zealand-ness.  

If you’ve yet to meet a Kiwi (we’re an extremely rare and attractive people), you should know that a big part of our national DNA is a self-deprecating, piss taking, irreverent humor.  The advertising and promotions for 42 Below Vodka harnessed and exported this unique brand of humor to great effect, annoying liquor giants, earning countless awards and winning millions of vodka cocktail-sodden fans along the way.

Swollen as I am with national pride (at least I think that what it is), this will be the first of several posts devoted to the story of the little vodka that could.  Meanwhile, I'm off to the liquor store around the corner to pick up the second bottle of the week.  Cheers!