Ale Ads Rethink Revolutionary War Outcome

Imagine an America where trucks are called lorries. That's the idea behind an ad campaign for Newcastle Brown Ale. It envisions what the U.S. would be like if England had won the war.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our Last Word In Business today is, if they won.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RULE, BRITANNIA!")

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Imagine an America where trucks are called lorries, garbage cans are bins.

GREENE: Taxicabs are black, elevators are lifts, and English muffins are, well, just muffins.

MONTAGNE: That's the idea behind, If We Won. It's a cheeky, new advertising campaign from Newcastle Brown Ale. It envisions what the United States would be like if Britain had won the Revolutionary War.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELIZABETH HURLEY: Coast-to-coast cobblestone, shoe shines on every corner, all the fish head pie you can eat. And at the end of the day, you'd kick back and surf through all five of our government-run television stations.

GREENE: That's actress Elizabeth Hurley making the case for what she calls, Great Britain Two. The ads are in celebration of July 3, a make-believe holiday commemorating the day before America actually declared independence and was still British.

MONTAGNE: Marketers at Newcastle dreamed it up last year as a way to sell beer on this most anti-British of American holidays.

GREENE: Comedian Stephen Merchant, the co-creator of the sitcom, The Office, also joins in. He argues that the best part of an America still ruled by Britain would be the language.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STEPHEN MERCHANT: Oh, America, if we'd won the war, you'd have better comedy, news, TV programs and way better rude words. Imagine how sophisticated you'd sound when you're insulting someone. Oy, Brad, your wife's a [bleep] now [bleep] off you, [bleep]. See how classy that sounded. With our accidents and your American self-confidence, you'd be unstoppable.

GREENE: Unstoppable or maybe just Australia. That's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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