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Tag Archives: Wine Curmdugeon

TV wine commercials and their legacy

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TV wine commercials and their legacyKen Ross, at The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Mass., has a fine critical eye for TV wine commercials:

In commercial after commercial, for years and years, television ads created an elitist aura around wine that simply won’t go away. You need to live in a castle or wear a cravat to drink wine. You need to enunciate your words slowly and listen to Beethoven. You need to drive a Rolls Royce or have long, flowing blond hair that moves in slow motion.

Which is something that has been noted here several times. Wine ads on TV are decidedly unoriginal, especially when compared to commercials for beer and spirits. The orginal Miller Lite ads were groundbreaking, and even the recent Captain Morgan rum ads are interesting, if a tad silly.

But not wine. As Ross writes, “Watch a few wine commercials and you’ll start to notice a striking similarity from one bland ad to the next, especially during the ’70s and ’80s.” The reason? The wine business has spent the past 40 years using intimidation to market its product, bludgeoning us with Ross’ cravats. Wine isn’t fun like beer or rum, and you’d better not buy it for that reason. Or we’ll make fun of you.

Ross thinks the situation has improved, and links to 11 ads that he says demonstrate the change. One of them, for a brand that apparently isn’t made any more, is a nifty take-off on the old Grey Poupon mustard ad, and another, for an English wine retailer, captures exactly how terrified most consumers are when they browse a wine shop.

But that those two aren’t strictly wine commercials, and that four others on the list aren’t either, speaks to how pitiful most wine commercials remain. One reason for that, I think, is that the best wine marketers, companies like E&J Gallo and The Wine Group, which makes Cupcake, don’t do TV ads. If they did, they might reach Miller Lite heights (and a YouTube video for Gallo’s Barefoot line, promoting its non-profit Soles program, hints at that).

Or, with a little luck, they could scale the summit of the greatest wine commercial of all, Orson Welles for Paul Masson in the 1970s (courtesy of DarianGlover on YouTube):

The WC on WGSO in New Orleans

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The WC on WGSO in New OrleansI’ll join my old pal Tim McNally at 5 p. m. on Friday to talk about cheap wine, the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame, and plug the cheap wine book on WGSO in New Orleans. You can stream the show if you’re not in the New Orleans area — or, better yet, listen to the podcast.

It’s always a lot of fun to talk to Tim, who knows more about the wine business than most and is very modest about it. Plus, he always asks me easy questions.

Wednesday Birthday Week 2013 giveaway: $50 Wine.com gift card

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And the winner is: Laura, who selected 56; the winning number was 64 (screenshot to the right). Thanks to everyone who participated.  Tomorrow’s prize is a wine accessories gift pack, including a wine tote, corkscrew, and white wine ice bag, courtesy of Nomacorc.

Today, to celebrate the blog’s sixth anniversary, we’re giving away a $50 gift card from Wine.com, and thank you very much to the people at Wine.com for their contribution to the cause. Wine.com offers free shipping with the Steward-Ship program, which includes a free, one-month trial. This is the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Briefly, pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of the prize post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post. Otherwise, your entry doesn’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you have to come to the website, winecurmudgeon.com and to this post, to enter. At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.

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