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Wine Marketing: Wow! or Huh?

In the “ponderously head-scratching” category come two recent wine marketing examples that cause even the most intrepid wine explorer to pause and wonder curiously, “What the hell were they thinking?”

Exhibit A

In the realm of subjectivity, wine and wine marketing is in certain company with comedy movies.  Good is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

I’d rather stoop over and pick an acre of weeds than laze comfortably watching any piece of celluloid with Adam Sandler in it (The Waterboy or Little Nicky, anyone?).  Likewise, I’m painfully aware that the magic of “Caddyshack” is all but lost on my wife, as is the early oeuvre of Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, et al).

Yet, when presented with the below ad from Citra, an Italian wine brand, my wife and I both laughed heartily before pausing and wondering what the heck must have been going through the advertising creative director’s mind when constructing this ad.

Take a look yourself.  Is this comedy, tragedy or something else?


Exhibit B

Not to be outdone in the “head-scratching” category is news that 2nd tier 80s hair metal band Whitesnake has partnered with De La Montanya Vineyards to release a 2008 Zinfandel.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I got down with some Whitesnake back in the day.  Their video for “Here I Go Again” again was legendary on MTV’s video countdown in the late 80s.  But, with all due respect, Whitesnake isn’t a band riding a wave of nostalgia these days … and have you been to a Poison, Kiss or Motley Crue concert lately, bands that are enjoying a nostalgia wave?  The crowd is hardly the wine drinking sort.

Lead singer David Coverdale from Whitesnake says of the wine: “It’s a bodacious, cheeky little wine, filled to the brim with the spicy essence of sexy, slippery Snakeyness ... I recommend it to complement any (and) all grown up friskiness & hot tub jollies ...”

Priced at $29.95, the wine will be released to market in July.

Elsewhere, in contrast, B.R. Cohen’s “Doobie Red” becomes an appealing option.  If your wine and rock fix is still unsatiated, there’s always Wines that Rock, too.

Wow!  or Huh?  I’m going with Huh?


Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (13) |


On 06/15, Brian wrote:

Hmm… I wonder if the Whitesnake will be in my wine club shipment from De La Montanya!

They do make some seriously sultry wines, not that you’d catch me slinking around on the hood of a Jaguar or anything.


On 06/15, Jeff Lefevere wrote:


Nice.  As a freshman in high school in ‘87, I think I taped, watched and paused that video, oh, 300 times.  It was either that or watch Cubs games on WGN.


On 06/16, David Honig wrote:

The first ad is easy to explain. Those were the reactions of people to whom they showed the creative idea.

As for the Whitesnake wine, I have absolutely no idea why it would exist. Of course, I always felt the same way about the band, so perhaps my opinion is not the one that matters.

On 06/16, Bill Smart wrote:

It all seems a bit contrived to me. But then again, people are probably dumb enough to buy in.  After all, we allow ourselves to be manipulated by our tee-vee’s.


On 06/16, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I’m firmly in the Huh? camp….

On 06/17, Mart S. wrote:

I’m on the “head-scratching” thingy. Anyways, the ad is playfully confusing. smile

On 06/18, Joe wrote:

In defense of the Citra ad, it’s is pretty bold, so if it was crammed into the hundreds of pages of ads in your periodical wine tome, it may catch the eye of the reader. Of course, once you stop and try to actually process the ad, it pretty ridiculous.  But now I know what Citra is, so I guess they’ve won the battle of generating brand awareness (and wasn’t “Citra” a defunct citrus soda from Coca-Cola?)

On the second one, well, I guess David Coverdale is just trying to desperately hold onto the rock star persona.  “Snakiness”?  It’s just sad.  And while he was pretty decent post-Snake in his collaboration with Jimmy Page, I’m going to stick with knowing my rock star wine is on the money (see, this isn’t the first time DLM has turned a washed up star into a wine):

On 06/23, Mart S. wrote:

Nice point there, Joe. They took the risk in creating such ad, and it’s up for the potential consumers to react. Cheers!

On 07/02, Galen Struwe wrote:

Jeff, all of this Whitesnake/David Coverdale pitching wine nonsense and not one decent titillating picture of Tawny Kitaen?

On 07/02, Jeff Lefevere wrote:

Nice choice of words, Galen.  I do have to note that Tawny was on Celebrity Rehab on VH1 last year.  She’s aged well, but has definitely aged out of nubile and into mother range.

On 07/24, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

I recommend it to complement any (and) all grown up friskiness & hot tub jollies ...”thanks.

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On 09/21, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Absolutely i accept your thoughts.Though other than europe i heard wine marketing is not good.Is it right?..
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On 09/21, Insurance reviews wrote:

A good resource would be the New Zealand Wine website - they represent the New Zealand Winegrowers. The organization does a terrific job representing the NZ brands.


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