Buffalo Trace Newsletter ran the following story this morning:
NYC Vodka Billboard Pulled After Uproar
Community Leaders Call ‘Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing’ Ad Insensitive
February 23, 2012
A controversial Wódka Vodka billboard hung up in New York’s Bronx borough was taken down after drawing the ire of community leaders intent on cleaning up the area’s image.
The “Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing” ads were posted around the city, but community leaders in Hunts Point said the billboards didn’t help their efforts to shed the area’s reputation as a prostitution hub, the New York Daily News reported.
Wódka vodka, the inexpensive import trying to become the next Svedka, stepped on it’s you-know-what again with an outdoor message it obviously (but mistakenly) thought was cute and clever.
Back in December they ran a billboard in New York City with this sophomoric content – “Christmas Quality, Chanukah Pricing.” That ran into a firestorm of criticism and they had to literally pull the ads down.
You’d think they would have learned and moved forward in a number of new ways to get their message across. Get a new creative team, hire a new agency, and/or get internal marketing and advertising folks who know what they are doing. There are dozens of ways to get the quality-low price message across in a fun, even shocking way without being offensive.
Listen Wódka, you may think that putting a lampshade on your head is funny but trust me, after the 5th grade it loses some of its appeal.
Ad Age, Buffalo Trace Newsletter, Wine and Spirits Daily, Shanken News Daily and others have all had stories about Cider and its potential as the next “craft” brew.
At first I thought – no way. Cider (Hard Cider that is) has been around for centuries and never caught on. Most people I know who have come here from the UK, sooner or later miss Cider and wonder why Americans don’t drink it. I don’t know why that is – no acquired taste for it; perceptions that it’s too sweet; dislike of apple juice; confusion about what it is; just because it’s not in consumers’ frame of reference. There are lots of reasons.
Like many companies in the food, beverage and hospitality industry, Seagram cocktail receptions and meals were somewhere between elaborate and over the top. A long list of third world countries could feed their people from the leftovers of a cocktail reception.
A good friend and former colleague had a wonderful way of putting it, “At Seagram, you didn’t become a millionaire but you sure lived like one.” Or, at least, ate like one.
Two stories come to mind.
Buffalo Trace newsletter reported the results of a study by the Wine Marketing Council on the state of the wine industry in the US. The findings indicate that the consumer base is expanding with consumption at 291 million cases in 2011, which is up from 278 million in 2010.
Nevertheless, a spokesman for the Wine Council was quoted as saying, “Wine remains an enigma, a mystery, and we have to solve the mystery if we want to expand the consumer base.”
I think I have the answer. Borrow a page from the vodka folks and use strange flavors (cake, whipped cream, marshmallow, bacon, etc.) to expand the market.
Or, better yet, I came across a blog posting that would fit the de-mystifying of wine and broaden its appeal. Wine fermented from strange ingredients.