While we’re easily excited by anything pushing free booze upon the nation, we’re Fernet and Coke drinkers (blame those wily Argentines, not NorCal), so naturally a black and tan VW van dedicated to the herbaceous, bitter Italian spirit really gets our motor running. Starting this Friday, Fernet-Branca is parking it on L.A.’s street over five days. Entering a stranger’s van usually leads to the drinking of odd things, and this one is no exception, promising to be "full of liquor, smoked salmon," and shwag. Now for the hitch.
While free Fernet sounds like a nice way to start the weekend, keep in mind this is a promotional device, part of the brand’s bigger U.S. city circuit. When we asked a rep about the food, the reply was "nothing special food wise," though smoked salmon sounds like a cut above the norm.
The whole marketing gimmick here is that the van doesn’t run on earth-ravaging, politically divisive gasoline, but on "Tweet power," asking all interested parties to follow it on Facebook and chat about it and urging L.A. bloggers to tweet the hell out of its appearances, to be measured on a (groan) "Tweetometer."
The Fernet van is also selecting five different bloggers to keep the vehicle running, which in this sly style of marketing speak, means someone willing to promote it all day through their Twitter feed. No word on who the lucky "influencers" may be or even where the van will land, but we see on Facebook it was already in town last night, spreading the dark spirit around Golden Gopher and Seven Grand. To chase this one down yourself, you’ll have to adhere to its Facebook page.