GOSLING’S CELEBRATES 200TH YEAR BY HONORING LOCAL CENTENARIANS

9 Feb 2006

  Two hundred years ago this spring, James Gosling set sail from London bound for America. He never made it. Thwarted by becalmed seas, he instead put in at the nearest port, St. George’s. And the rest, as they say, is history. Delicious, deep, dark history.

To commemorate their bicentennial year, Bermuda’s oldest business is launching several new efforts; perhaps the most notable is a campaign featuring Bermudians who have also reached an important milestone: 100 years.

Like most Gosling projects, this one is a family affair. “We didn’t just want to pat ourselves on the back,” explains Nancy Gosling, President and CEO of Gosling Brothers Limited. “We are very proud of reaching 200 years as a family business in Bermuda, and it is imperative that we recognize all those who have helped to make that possible.”

Each ad stars a local resident who has turned 100 or more, beneath the headline: “For Our 200th Anniversary, a Toast to Bermudians Who Are Half Our Age.” The ads include a brief bio of the individual, their secret for longevity and favorite spot on Bermuda.

It sums up by saying, “For 200 years now, this most special island has been our home. We want to thank all of you--young and old--for making it possible. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of changes here, but we’ve seen a lot of preservation, too. Because when you have something unique, something remarkable, why mess with it? That’s been our philosophy for seven stubborn generations.”

Though there is a picture of Gosling’s three popular rums, there is no direct mention of them in the ads. “This is really not about our rums, it’s about our home here and our many blessings, not the least of which are our fellow Bermudians,” notes Charles Gosling, the company’s Vice President and Managing Director.

Producing the ads turned out to be a bit more difficult than envisioned. As Glenn Kelley of Kelley and Company, Gosling’s advertising agency, explained, “Once Malcolm (Malcolm Gosling, President of Gosling’s Export) approved the idea of featuring the centenarians, we had to go find them.” This required word-of-mouth and special recruitment ads and notices to help locate Bermuda’s 100+ year-old residents. “It’s obviously a small, select group,” says Kelley. The ads turned up three, all women. “We’re still looking for others to feature so if your readers know of any, have them contact Gosling’s,” added Kelley.

Noted Bermudian photographer Stephen Raynor was brought aboard to photograph the women, each in a setting that helps convey their unique interests and life’s story. “I think we captured their profound inner strength and twinkle in their eyes, pretty well,” says Raynor.

The campaign, along with a new 200th-Year Gosling’s logo and special merchandising materials, is scheduled to run all of 2006.

Please take a look at the ads featuring Ms. Esther Allen Bentley and Ms. Roseanne Wilson.




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