Dead Rabbits and Carrots Beer

2001

Promotional packaging for San Francisco’s Carrots Boutique by advertising firm, Pereira & O’Dell. (Package design variously credited to Chris M. Romero and also Dan Van Der Deen.)

The

objective was to create a buzz around this high-end fashion boutique

(CARROTS) and specifically around their men’s line, driving new male

customers into the store. We created a limited edition, designer beer

made from carrots. We brewed the beer, handcrafted the bottle wraps,

and applied the labels. The 22(oz.) burlap-wrapped bottles were

hand-delivered as gifts to specifically targeted men and the 12(oz.)

beers were served at CARROTS-sponsored events and in-store to enhance

men’s shopping experiences.  Among the hundreds that received the

bottle as a gift and the ones that tried it in the store, many people

actually placed orders for beer to take home, turning a unique

promotional item into a sexy and successful new product. Not to mention

creating a buzz around the store.

Pereira & O’Dell

The label and package design caters to the (presumably male)

cartoon sensibility, wherein deceased creatures have X’s for eyes.

Hence: a dead rabbit icon whose X-shaped eyes are also echoed in the

orange stitching of the burlap “bottle wrap”. The burlap is another

macabre touch, wrapping the bottle in a sort of burial shroud. The effect is dark and portentous—albeit in a cute, Tim Burton-ish sort of way.

This is a beer made from carrotsfor a store named “Carrots”— so that explains the rabbit. But why dead? “Dead rabbit” could be taken as a reference to girls getting pregnant—(as in “the rabbit died”)—but that seems unlikely to be the message here...

There was also a “Dead Rabbits” gang in NYC in the 1850s whose story was fictionalized in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. (Again: not likely the intentional reference for us here.)

Is

the idea just that Carrots Beer packs such a punch that our rabbit is

merely knocked out and not dead at all? That might be closer to it...

Plus, multiple Xs have implications with regard to alcoholic beverage quality and —(in the public’s cartoon imagination, at least)— with regard to alcohol potency. Think: XXX.

box vox