Dewars Channels the Ghost of Charles Bukowski to Sell Scotch

In 1993, the GAP used the ghost of Jack Ker­ouac to help sell khakis to desk jock­eys across the nation. That was odd. 20 years lat­er, Dewars has called upon Charles Bukows­ki, dead since 1994, to ped­dle Scotch. That makes com­plete sense. As you may recall, Bukows­ki once told Sean Penn in a 1987 Inter­view mag­a­zine piece: “Alco­hol is prob­a­bly one of the great­est things to arrive upon the earth — along­side of me. Yes…these are two of the great­est arrivals upon the sur­face of the earth. So…we get along.” Bukows­ki liked to drink. He also liked to talk about his mem­o­rable hang­overs. Dead or alive, Bukows­ki has the creds to sell Scotch.

As the Dewars ad rolls (above), you’ll hear lines from Bukowski’s poem “so you want to be a writer?” (below). And if you’re famil­iar with the poem, you’ll notice that the nar­ra­tion in the com­mer­cial is abridged. They’ve removed var­i­ous lines refer­ring to the writ­ing life, mak­ing it so that the nar­ra­tion speaks to a broad­er audi­ence. Rock climbers. Motor­cy­cle mechan­ics. Musi­cians. Jour­nal­ists. Peo­ple who aspire — or need to be inspired — to “live true.”

Two quick notes: If I’m not mis­tak­en, you can hear the same voice in the clips above and below. That would make it the voice of “Tom O’Bed­lam,” who runs the Spo­ken Verse chan­nel on YouTube. Also, you can view a Span­ish ver­sion of the Dewars ad here.

Relat­ed Resources: 

So You Want to Be a Writer?: Charles Bukows­ki Explains the Dos & Don’ts

Charles Bukows­ki Tells the Sto­ry of His Worst Hang­over Ever

“Don’t Try”: Charles Bukowski’s Con­cise Phi­los­o­phy of Art and Life

550 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free

Drink­ing with William Faulkn­er

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Comments (4)
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  • jmignault says:

    I think you meant “co-opts,” or “exploits” there, not “chan­nels.”

    • Steve Mort says:

      I was going to go with “rapes the corpse of Bukows­ki with an enthu­si­asm and vig­or that would make a griz­zled necrophil­i­ac blush”, but I’ll take ‘exploits’ in a pinch.

  • CountJoseph says:

    …and alas the mantra of the mil­len­ni­al is co-opt­ed by a brand aim­ing to sell booze to a new generation…the word “pas­sion­ate” is plen­ty bandied about by the very age group this ad is pin-point­ed­ly aimed toward…and they will get it. If they are not feel­ing “pas­sion­ate” about their career, their mate, their vehi­cle, their beard or hair­do then they move on…who will be doing the drudge work and wear­ing the bad clothes and have the poor den­tal hygiene of the future? Where will the new Bukowskis come from? Not these kids. They are pas­sion­ate, but they are com­plete­ly unable to suf­fer for their pas­sion, as he did. They want it hand­ed to them. Sad real­ly. Don’t try.

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