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Wince. shudder. Curse. Repeat." Thousands of young adult consumers did just as a hip magazine campaign predicted after tasting an unusual shooter, Goldschlager.

Paddington Corp.'s clear liqueur, laced with tiny flecks of gold, ran ads by Mullen Advertising, Wenham, Mass., with the preemptive tagline "Yes, it's real gold." Goldschlager ads that warned, "Be afraid. Be very afraid," made perfect sense to Mike Griffin, 29, national brand manager.

Goldschlager, the No.*2 brand in the shooter category, is chipping into the share of Sidney Frank Importing Co.'s Jagermeister, the category leader. Jagermeister's volume grew 14.3% in 1995 to 440,000 cases, according to industry newsletter Impact, and Goldschlager grew 14.5% to 315,000.

Mr. Griffin's brand has a new advantage: His traditional chief rival does not advertise.

"The [Goldschlager] brand is cutting-edge, and advertising itself was our point of difference," he says.

To challenge the target audience, Mr. Griffin had to "get in on the ground floor" with equally challenging new magazines. Might and Mullen even teamed up to create a magazine cover parodying the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board's "Milk mustache" ads, using a model clutching a Goldschlager bottle and sporting a gold moustache.

"We love what Might did, but we have our own ad campaign that tested very well," he says. "We have a lot of equity in it."

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