Wine Marketing

By Tom Dougherty
Wine marketing and marketing tone

Wine marketing and marketing tone​

In this time of COVID-19, many marketers are asking themselves what tone they should take. Be serious. Ignore it all. Or just be happy. The world of wine marketing has taken to being happy.

To the extreme. Yellow Tail’s new spot plays like a musical fairyland. A brighter offshoot of The Wizard of Oz. With a princess of a sort singing, “The bright side feels pretty good.”

“But if you’re in wine marketing, don’t copy the Yellow Tail approach. Find your own. Ask yourself questions about the rest of the market, your brand and, most importantly, your customers.”

In general, I’d say the approach is tone deaf. But here’s the thing. It’s wine. If there’s one category with permission to be more upbeat than others, it’s in wine marketing.

What else are you going to say? Drown your sorrows by drinking alone in the dark? (Now thinking about it.)

The question of tone in this era is best answered by what permission your category (and brand) has. Hospitals, to think about the opposite extreme, couldn’t pull this off by a long shot.

Wine marketing and others should consider several factors

But that’s an extreme. Just as wine marketing is. But what about those in the middle? I would think we’re past the somber messaging we all saw over the summer. Where ads blended into each other so snugly that we couldn’t tell the difference.

wine marketingUsing that tone by itself wasn’t a bad option when marketing during COVID. The problem was everybody was doing it. The goal of any marketing endeavor is to be different and better than the competition. Even if you adopt the right tone, it will be ignored if it mirrors what others are doing.

Examining the competition remains one of the largest failures in marketing. Including wine marketing. Many brands don’t consider how their messages are being received in light of similar approaches. It’s time and money wasted if you’re doing just the same thing as everybody else.

To consider what to do today, you have to examine several factors. What is the competition doing? What kind of tone does your category (and brand) have? Trying to read the temperature in the room is difficult. Instead, uncover the emotional intensities that have always resided in the market but are now more intensive. Because you’re in it for the long haul.

Wine marketing has more permission to be happy than marketing in other categories. And, right now, no one is taking the Yellow Tail approach. So it’s different, and feels a little right for the Yellow Tail brand. Even if it’s too clever to make a true impact.

But if you’re in wine marketing, don’t copy the Yellow Tail approach. Find your own. Ask yourself questions about the rest of the market, your brand and, most importantly, your customers.

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