In early August of 2016, I received an email from USA Today asking me to weigh in on their craft spirits-themed Readers’ Choice contests, and in our case (at press time), the soon-to-be-launched craft tequilas list.
I’ll be honest, I dread these lists. What’s worse is, I dread being asked to participate in compiling them.
Let me tell you why.
It’s A List
In the Digital Age, everyone wants things in bite sized form and they want it now. It is also proven that numbered lists draw attention. And, there are so many of them out there on the Interwebs–
Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover…
The 10 Best Ways to Cheat On Your Mate…
Six Ways Your Cat Plots to Kill You…
A Word About Your Sins
It’s because they are aimed at the 7 Deadly Sins.
A steadfast rule of copywriters is to compose content that elicits an emotional response from readers to take action.
To drive your particular sin even further to cause you to read the content, the word YOU is hammered into every title.
[Editor’s note: See what I did with my title? You choose which sin fits best for YOU.]
Craft Is A Buzzword
While the instructions in the email required at least 20 selections from me, the contest will butcher the selections down to only 10–
Selected by those who are unaware of what a craft tequila really is, and…
Curated by someone whose job it is to find ways to engage USA Today’s readers.
It’s A Contest
When our COO, Lisa Pietsch, examined the contest website and the myriad of other pre-existing lists, she found that this is a clever way for USA Today to increase reader engagement.
Reader engagement translates to readers’ time spent on USA Today’s mammoth website, which in turn translates to money they charge advertisers.
The term we use is “sticky” as in spider’s web sticky.
Which leads me to–
Having been paid to ghost write Editor’s Choice lists in the past, I am fully aware that many times, spirits sponsors of major magazines and websites tend to sneak onto them.
This, despite my vehement objections to the editors that such a move invalidates the list altogether.
So, before any of the Usual Suspects wind up on USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards Craft Tequilas list, here are my selections. Bear in mind, I was limited to only twenty brands.
The Top 20 Craft Tequilas You’ve Overlooked
In no particular order…
- T1 Tequila Uno
- Tears of Llorana
- Siembra Azul
- Siembra Valles
- Tequila G4
- ArteNOM 1414
- ArteNOM 1580
- ArteNOM 1146
- ArteNOM 1549
- Dulce Vida
- Don Fulano
Whether any of my selections make the cut, remains to be seen.
Depending on who the other “tequila experts” were that contributed to the final list to be voted on, the results, if nothing else, should be interesting.
One thing is for certain–
Not everyone will be happy.