Friday, January 21, 2005

Marketing to Millenials?

As a preface to my post on improving wine marketing, I wanted to express my skepticism of the Wine Market Council's (WMC) claim that millenials are consuming more wine. WMC is the industry group whose goal is to increase the responsible consumption and acceptance of wine (Much like the Milk advisory board who created the "Got Milk?" campaign - one of the most recognized and oft-imitated campaigns in history (sadly, WMC campaigns have not been nearly so successful)). I have been critical of the WMC's work before and I am baffled as to how their current campaign can possibly be linked to increased acceptance of wine among millenials.

Take, for example, a recent study by Wine Vision that they (Wine Vision) say validates the increased consumption among millenials. Okay, fine, but keep reading. See where the wine-consuming millenials describe wine as "elitist" "dull" "snooty", etc. "Hip" was the lowest-ranking descriptor!!! Are these the consumers that will be doubled US per capita wine consumption?!? (which would just barely get us equal to the UK and Australia!!!). It almost seems that they are drinking wine in spite of its image and in spite of the industry-supportive advertising (which they may well be - marketing to GenX and Millenials can often work backwards).

If we do indeed have the current attention of the millenials (and I remain unconvinced that its not just a temporary 'blip') then they above attitudes reinforce my belief that we need to change they way wine is perceived (particularly under $10) before we lose the attention of this huge demographic.

Check out the Sofia Mini website and the [yellow tail] website to see how these brands are succesfully pulling in this key demographic ([yt] even has a blog). [yt] and Sofia Mini are advertising in magazines in the millenial demographic. The WMC campagin is in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset and Wine Spectator. Compare the approaches and I think its clear the WMC is missing the Millenial boat....


Blogger caveman said...

First, nice to see daily updates that are worthy of well, being daily updates. Good job.
No matter how cool one makes a product, if it does not fit into an 'ensemble,' it is still a hard sell. Get Britney to wear a corsette and i don't see it taking over a generation.
With respect to wine, one can't hide from the reality that most North Americans eat shit, where speed and price are the two most over-riding concerns. Hey dude, next time you are chowing on your fifteenth taco bell of the day, try this wonderful zin... i hope i live to see the day. A part of the problem is that americans in general are less 'foodie' than in many other parts of the world... look, Macdonalds in many Euro countries carry wine.. it is part of the culture. Until the general perception that food is fuel is changed, wine, like many other luxuries, will remain a hard sell... wether it is sold in a cola can or not.

January 21, 2005 11:15 AM  
Blogger Huge said...

Caveman, thanks for the compliment and for your comments. I agree that wine doesn't mix with our fast food culture, but over time that can change. Next week I'll unveil my master plan......(well, one phase of it, anyway).


January 21, 2005 9:00 PM  
Blogger tiffanybbrown said...

It's not inconceivable that millennials drink more wine, even though they describe its image as "elitist" and anything but "hip." If you asked me, I'd say the same thing about the *image* of wine, but it doesn't stop me from drinking it (though I'm at the end of GenX).

That said, the WMC needs to take a page from the Bacardi-Smirnoff-Captain Morgan's-Cointreau playbook. These are the beverage ads that I regularly see in mainstream women's magazines. No surprise, then, that cocktails are the beverage of choice for most of the young'uns I know.

I'd also add that wine marketers are largely missing out on the huge and growing minority market. For example, Yellow Tail is about the only wine brand that advertises in my almost exclusively black neighborhood. Courvoisier, Hennessy and Seagrams ads, on the other hand, are staples. As a result, we are some Cognac and gin drinkin' folks.

Black people, according to one report, are also 39% more likely to shell out $20 or more for a bottle of wine. Premium wine brands, then, are *really* missing the boat.

January 23, 2005 4:19 PM  
Blogger Huge said...

"That said, the WMC needs to take a page from the Bacardi-Smirnoff-Captain Morgan's-Cointreau playbook."

Yes! "Absolutly"!! The whole minority demographic thing is exactly right, too. Its all part of the industry's inability to let go of its elitism and market to the masses effectively.

Thanks for commenting.


January 24, 2005 8:54 AM  

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