More insipid winery ads
Six of the advertisers who appeared in the last issue I reviewed (November) are here again, three of them with new creative. And while the overall quality is low, there is more to like beyond the mouth-watering La Crema ad we saw earlier.
I am deeply intrigued by Chateau Ste Michelle’s concept.
“In my house, your hands are always needed in the kitchen. And your glass can always use topping off.”
Now let’s pause to make fun of, er, consider some of the others. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Beringer. You’ve been running the “paper sculpture” campaign for quite some time, always with the same lame line: “How to get to Napa Valley.” Well guess what? Apparently you don’t need directions because Napa Cellars tell us we’re already there: “Welcome to Napa.” So now we have two wineries with the same (non)message. Brilliant.
Rodney Strong, which last time gave us a lecture on the virtues of character, now shares this pearl: “Place Matters.” Gee, thanks Rodney. But we already heard that from Frei Brothers (“Because Terroir Matters”).
Another long-running turd is Ravenswood’s ad, which admonishes us to “Forget last night’s wine. You probably already did.” You can chalk this line up to the winery’s “tireless campaign against priggish elitism” (their words). They’re trying to be all populist and edgy but it falls flat. It’s a shame, really, because there are so many ways to take their positioning -- “No Wimpy Wines” -- and really SAY something. A forgettable ad for a wine that wants people to know how expressive and memorable it is. D’oh!
All right, let’s take a look at the only other interesting ad in this issue: Sterling’s $1.00 off promotion. I love offers. Everyone loves offers. Why producers don’t make them more often, I do not know. Especially in the wine business, which is all about trial. Anyway, that’s what this add attempts to do: get you to try the wine. Right above the offer it says, “Taste for yourself.” Simple enough. But, oh, it could have been so much more. There is no reason a winery (or any client) has to separate a direct response offer from a brand message. Unfortunately, Sterling’s brand message is the indefensible self-serving drivel, “Impeccable Taste.” Sterling is clearly at a loss for words. In fact, if you go to their blog, you’ll find just one entry, a welcome note from last November. Excellent job, guys. Or should I say, sterling job?