just the Facts - Official Brand Endorsements

By | 26 May 2011

Guinness was thrown into the spotlight this week when Barack Obama was picture drinking a pint on his trip to the Republic of Ireland

Guinness was thrown into the spotlight this week when Barack Obama was picture drinking a pint on his trip to the Republic of Ireland

Diageo received the mother of all commercial endorsements this week when US President Barack Obama sipped on a pint of Guinness, declaring it "delicious" during his state visit to the Republic of Ireland.

Here, just-drinks takes a deeply considered look at product endorsements by 'world leaders' - presidents, ministers and monarchs.

  • Aside from Guinness, Obama is not shy about picking up a branded drink. Buxton Mineral Water received a most coveted endorsement by the US President at the G20 summit in April 2009. At the summit, he turned down the offer of a glass and instead took sips straight from a Buxton water bottle. The brand's logo was seen by viewers around the world and didn't cost Buxton a penny. He has also been pictured sipping a pint of Bud Lite and drinking PepsiCo, while his favourite cocktail has been documented as the Campari-based 'Americano'.
  • In August last year, the press discovered what the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's leader Kim Jong-il has in his drinks cabinet. With a fifth of his country's income at his disposal, Jong-il opted for water. But not just any water. The dictator reportedly has a penchant for Nestle's Perrier Water. Whether he ordered any of the bottles with Dita Von Teese on them is unknown. 
  • Taking it right back, in the 1880s, Pope Leo XIII, Queen Victoria and Pope Saint Pius X all praised Vin Mariani, a drink made from Bordeaux wine said to be laced with cocaine from coca leaves, according to Odee.com. Pope Leo XIII awarded a gold medal to the drink and appeared in a poster endorsing it. The advert stated: "His Holiness the Pope writes that he has fully appreciated the beneficent effects of this Tonic Wine and has forwarded to Mr Mariani as a token of his gratitude a gold medal bearing his august effigy." The drink has been reported by some to be the inspiration for a carbonated version called Coca-Cola.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 38th Governor of California, has put his hand up to endorse many products throughout his career. It turns out that Schwarzenegger often travelliedng to Japan to shoot TV commercials – a total of 30 to be precise. Here's one of them.
  • Last but not least is Santa Claus. Okay, he doesn't strictly hold office, but his annual endorsement of Coca-Cola at Christmas time is worth a mention. 2011 will mark the 80th anniversary of Coca-Cola Santa Claus. He first appeared in magazine ads for the brand in1931 and proved so popular that the soft drinks giant has made the character synonymous with the brand every Christmas. Click here for a history of Santa Claus and Coca-Cola.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Soft drinks, Spirits, Water, Wine

Companies: Guinness, Perrier, Diageo, PepsiCo, Campari, Nestle

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