Booze and Bullets?

Guns and wine

Buffalo Trace Newsletter reprinted a story from Decanter with the following headline:

“National Rifle Association starts wine club.” Huh?

Apparently the association has linked up with a wine club and is offering home delivery of wines for members and nonmembers.

The website offers these inducements: “Now you can support the 2nd Amendment with every wine you buy.”  It also offers new members a “nine-piece custom NRA engraved wine box” when they join. A portion of the profits will apparently go into the coffers of the NRA as it battles gun control legislation.

One of my readers had the following questions about this link between the NRA and the wine club.

“Will the NRA recommend a cabernet to go with Moose?”

“Is it white or red while you clean your shot gun?”

“Is the wine box good for target practice?”

Actually, according to the Huffington Post, the National Rifle Association has hosted a wine club since 2007, but word of it only recently came out as a result all the current press. The story goes on to say that, an Australian winery is pulling its wines from the club in protest against the NRA’s views. Others have not objected.

What’s your take?


Continue Reading

Southern Comfort Turnaround


An advertising campaign that actually works?

Wine and Spirits Daily reported recently that the Southern Comfort ad campaign seems to have paid off.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you won’t be surprised to learn that. (See Aug 4, 2012 and Dec 19, 2012.)

The brand’s net sales had been in decline for years but turned around in 2012. While 3% growth isn’t necessarily a big deal, for a brand that was hemorrhaging, it’s a road to recovery.

Judging from the emails and comments I received, I’m not surprised at all that the brand turned around.

Continue Reading

Super Bowl Ads: Worth The Cost?

SB ads

Ad Age, Adweek and other business publications are pulsating with articles about Super Bowl ads. From the cost, to the worth, to the waste, everyone has an opinion. So, why not me?

Companies with deep pockets will ante up an average of $4 million for a 30 second spot. For some, the super bowl buys will be their entire advertising budget for the year.

In our own beloved booze business, we will see ads for Budweiser and Bud Light and I hope they’ll do better than in the past. (See Feb 8, 2011 posting) In addition, there will be ads for new products such as Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire. There may be as many as 3 30-second ads and 3 60-second ads. You do the math.

Aside from great seats at the game and Cheshire cat smiles from the ad agencies, are theses expenditures worth it?

According to a report from Kantar Media, far more viewers “remain riveted” to the tube, even during ads, than generally. (Really? I must be the exception.) Further, last years’ audience reach was reported to have been a record 111 million viewers.

Clearly, as a mass reach vehicle, there is nothing better than the Super Bowl. But is that all there is to advertising and brand building?

I came across a terrific article on the opinion page of Ad Age by Jonathan Salem Baskin, President of Baskin Associates. I don’t know him but his views on the Super Bowl are very similar to my own. But, he says it better.

Continue Reading