I had the strangest dream last night, involving the Countess of Chester hospital where I was born. Walking past the hospital with some friends, we realised that the building had been given a new purple look, and was now sponsored by Absolut vodka. Everywhere you looked, there was a new message extolling the virtues of good Scandinavian vodka. With an accident & emergency unit brought to you by Absolut, and an outpatients wing powered by Absolut, it was a marketeer’s wet dream of how to achieve saturation coverage of your brand in one relatively small place.

All I can remember is being outraged at the sponsorship, and attempting to break into the part of the hospital dealing with liver diseases, just to see if Absolut had been sick enough to sponsor the unit dealing with the illnesses that overuse of alcohol can help bring about. I think we may have been caught before I could find out.

I’m not sure whether the dream is a representation of the fact that I now live in a country where branding is everything, or if it’s just that the last two weeks before I got here saw me drink enough alcohol to warrant hospital admission…

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