Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was originally published.
It's been a busy few months for Austin's Deep Eddy Vodka. In addition to opening its very first tasting room on October 10, the spirits company landed $13 million in funding in August to continue its growth. With its uber popular Ruby Red flavored vodka and plans for expansion, it seems Deep Eddy is poised to continue its meteoric rise.
So with all this good stuff happening, it makes one wonder, "What made them think this was a good idea?"
The "this" we're referring to is an advertisement for the company which first received national attention on Bustle two weeks ago and locally on The Austin Gastronomist last week. The ad follows a bespectacled, obnoxious guy (whom Bustle coins "Creep Eddy") around three Austin parties as he gives vodka taste tests and is just generally inappropriate. Among the things he does in the 1-minute, 24-second ad is touch multiple women inappropriately, leer into the camera, spit on a woman in a bathing suit and repeatedly badger female partygoers for their names and phone numbers.
Sure, the guy's acting (we hope), but come on. If an video makes you question — even for a fleeting second — if it's offensive, it is.
If we're at a party and a man we don't know spits on us, we usually leave. That's usually the point where we say, "This isn't fun anymore, I don't want to be here."
Representatives from Deep Eddy say the company removed the video from the company's website after receiving a complaint. Though the full-length video has been marked private, an edited version of the advertisement still appears on the company's YouTube channel.
Both Bustle and The Austin Gastronomist (which still has the full-length video on its site) do a great job breaking down why this video is awful. Writes Bustle, "Why do we have to see women have to put up with the antics of some predatory dude in the name of “comedy”? And yes, I do think this dude is predatory. The ad tries to be playful about it, but I think it’s uncomfortable to show a screaming man repeatedly hitting on women who want nothing to do with him."
Perhaps the strangest part of this whole thing is that if this is supposed to be selling vodka, it's not doing a great job. Deep Eddy is creating a party that no woman wants to go to. Women, some of whom have probably ordered a Ruby Red and soda, don't like to be badgered. If we're at a party or at a bar and a man we don't know spits on us, we usually leave. That's usually the point where we say, "This isn't fun anymore, I don't want to be here." And then we talk about how gross he is the whole way home.
In the company's defense, they issued a statement in which they say, "We are sorry that the video came across as anything but lighthearted and fun, and will be more aware when giving comedic license to a campaign." (Which reads to us as, "Sorry you're uptight and didn't get the joke.")
We hope they do bring some awareness to the next campaign, if only for the sake of the brand. Because, after all, if you're trying to sell vodka to women, reminding us of the last time some strange dude touched us and repeatedly badgered us isn't the way to do it. You know what we do instead? We order Tito's.
Update: Since this story published, we received the following statement:
"Deep Eddy Vodka is a company that prides itself on strong values in regards to gender equality, and as soon as the concern was brought to our attention we immediately took action. Over 40 [percent] of our employees are women, and all are shareholders and strong supporters of the Deep Eddy Vodka brand.
We are sorry that the video came across as anything but lighthearted and fun, and will be more aware when giving comedic license to a campaign."
Following publication of the Bustle article, Deep Eddy removed the video from its website, but Austin Gastronomist still has the original full-length ad.