Archive - July, 2009

Malo what?

Do you know what Malolactic Fermentation is?

If you do, you are probably amongst the tiny, miniscule, one-bubble-out-of-a-bottle-of-champagne’s-worth fraction of people in this country, including most wine lovers, that do. Congratulations!

In that case, I wonder whether this advert by Champagne brand Lanson that I saw this week on the London Underground is for you? It is certainly not for the average Champagne drinker and wine consumer.

Lanson Advert

Lanson Advert

The full text of the advert is:

“Since 1760, we’ve crafted Champagne the traditional way, choosing to avoid malolactic fermentation and insisting on 3 years’ cellar ageing. What emerges is an uplifting, crisp and fresh tasting Champagne with an exceptional purity of fruit.”

Does anyone in the wine business believe that consumers on the underground care all that much about the conversion of Malic Acid into Lactic Acid? I’m afraid that at best this advert was a bit of a waste of money for a good Champagne house, but at worst it confirmed that Champagne (and wine in general) is for snobs that know words like “malolactic fermentation”, “cellar ageing” and “purity of fruit”.

C’mon Lanson! Please use your undoubtedly strong brand, and your marketing budget, to do something a bit better and encourage the wine conversation. Oh, and while you are at it, you might like to improve your website – THAT is where you can reach out to wine experts and provide details of your winemaking.

Now, I wonder if there’s a name for the process of converting harsh, unapproachable advertising into well-rounded, consumer friendly material instead?

UPDATE 13:39 10/07/09: It occurs to me that really this is a classic error of selling Features not Benefits (loads of articles if you search, but this is a good one on selling the zaz.

COMMENTS: Thanks to all those who have commented on Facebook and on Twitter – it would be nice to pull some of that discussion together here too. Anyone?

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