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Wine on TV comes to a Second Screen

Ever wondered what they were drinking on a TV show and wanted to know more? Maybe even try it yourself?

We know that product placement in TV and film is very effective if nothing else because of the amount of money that is charged for the privilege. It isn’t just films either, as the experience of Vin de Constance from South Africa attests when it was included in the second in the “50 Shades” series of books.

That Wine on TV - found

That Wine on TV – found

Last night, the BBC relaunched their Food & Drink TV brand that was instrumental to growing wine consumption in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, but while the original series with Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden recommended specific wines from exotic new locations such as Australia and Chile, the new programme only talks in general terms about the wine’s regional provenance and avoids showing the label.

Will that have an effect on wine? Maybe not directly, but indirectly it might:

  • help to widen the benefit of the profile to a category of wine instead of a single bottle
  • start a conversation about new regions
  • encourage exploration and a bit of fun ‘detective work’
  • allow producers to source more interesting wines from smaller regions and producers not on supermarket shelves

An appearance on TV or in a national newspaper used to guarantee sales, but this is no longer true as audiences dwindle and get fragmented.

Consumers today are not *that* interested in wine that they will suddenly jump up from their TVs and flood google’s servers with queries about wines from these new regions. Many will still want a bit more help in locating relevant wines. How do we connect interested consumers with willing suppliers?

What the world needs today is a more integrated information solution to information in the places consumers go to look for it.

The BBC is bound not to endorse any commercial brands, so there is a BIG opportunity for others to step in and provide this information alongside the TV show in what is known as “Second Screen” solutions.

Second Screen means that consumers are interacting with TV programmes on their main screen via a second device such as a computer, smartphone or tablet. They are commenting on appearances of their favourite celebrities via twitter or facebook while they watch it simultaneously. They are also searching for related information for holidays or ingredients.

What if someone were to help identify those ‘mystery’ wines, tell you where you could buy them, offer you similar alternatives that might be more attractively priced or conveniently stocked, and finally link to retailers (and monetise this through affiliate links)?

Just because the BBC can’t do this, doesn’t mean others could not.

To show what I mean, I set up That Wine on TV in a couple of hours last night (most of the time spent trying to identify the Dao red on the programme) which I will try to maintain for a while for fun.

There is a great deal of NEW opportunity in wine retail if we use social media not simply as a communication tool, but to create the sort of immediate, relevant and convenient tools that today’s wine consumers are looking for.

Deos anyone else have a good example of Second Screen solutions in action for wine?

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Age Verification Comes to Twitter

It is a common occurrence to be barred from entering a wine related website until you have confirmed your birthdate, or at least confirmed you are of legal drinking age in your country.

On Facebook it is already possible to stop under-age members from seeing certain content.

However, until now this could not be done on Twitter and the only way to conform to the letter of the law in certain countries, was to post ineffective notes on your profile such as “By following you confirm you’re of legal drinking age”, or worse, annoy real and legal followers with messages threatening to block them if they did not confirm their ages (as was explored here in November after an experience with Beaulieu Vineyards)

Twitter, in partnership with BuddyMedia (a social marketing suite of tools for large brands), have now launched and integrated an age verification service as part of the Twitter experience. From today brands can sign up to for Age Verification via https://age.twitter.com/ which will enforce rules that they describe as “consistent with standard industry practices”.

Expect to be sent a Direct Message (DM) if you decide to follow a wine brand that will direct you to a site where you will have to enter your date of birth before being approved. If you happen to fail it (because you are underage, under-attentive or under the influence) you will be forever blocked by that account. However, assuming you do pass, the good news is that you will not have to go through the process again for other Age Verified accounts. [more details from The Next Web]

What is not clear what happens if you make a mistake and need to correct the age associated with your twitter account.

These “standard industry practices” may be completely ineffective, and misguided, but until law-makers see sense this is here to stay and expect this to spread quite quickly amongst the brands owned by large multinational drinks companies keen to prove their ‘Responsibility’ credentials.

It will also probably not be long until the age verification process includes some external auditing and confirmation (from Facebook, or other online resources) which will increase its accuracy but raise many privacy issues.

Why not consider creating an alternative age verification system - it may be more likely to be effective.

Oh, and for the record, if you are under 18 in the UK, or 21 in the USA, you should not have read any of this in case you should be encouraged to drink excessively simply through discovering that alcohol brands exist.

Please drink and market responsibly!

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Wine labels done right, a discovery at VinCE

A couple weeks ago I found myself in Budapest for the VinCE wine event – An event that is more consumer focused than trade, but a place to discover new wines and meet new people. I have to admit that I rarely find myself discovering  a wine label, or bottle design, at such events that makes me stop and say, “hey, now that is a great idea!” The wine world is full of copycats and formulaic marketing that usually bores me or fails to reflect the wine that it is supposed to represent. The wine inside a bottle is often either represented by a horrific label with a fancy font and ridiculous food pairing suggestions; or the opposite, by a label that is itself a work of art, meant for a museum, while the juice inside is second rate at best.

This year, one winery did stop me in my tracks to exclaim, “Yes, now that is what I’m talking about!”

Dénes Pécsi-Szabó, a young man from the Janus winery in Villány region of Hungary came up to me after the Gary Vaynerchuck masterclass and asked me to try his wines. Needing a reason to roam around, I found his table in the back corner of one of the main tasting halls, and within minutes I knew it was a good idea. Dénes, having very little time left in the day, quickly showed me his wines and the new labels that he was in the process of switching his wines to. Colorful and patterned I thought nothing of it at first, another pretty label. After tasting one of the wines, I remember noting that at least the pretty label contained some good fruit.

It was at that point that Dénes started to explain the story behind the label and I proceeded to inspect it closer. Turns out the patterns on the label had meaning. I’ll let Dénes explain in his own words how he worked with a designer to create them:

We created them with Marton Kenczler, Art Director of Kirowski Isobar. I used to work with him in film productions, and I wanted to bring a designer to create our logo and labels from an outsider world. Marci…had no knowledge or experience in the wine business.

We thought, that the old label is a little boring, as it was created to try to please all consumers and also family members of Janus Winery. We wanted to do something, which we feel[sic] closer to us, looks nice and sticks out of the Hungarian label crowd…

We both felt that the long label hugging around the bottle is a good form for what we want to do. Then I said one or two words about all of our wines, and Marci reflected with the symbols.

Rosé: Fresh, girly
Portugieser: wine for everyday
Cabernet Sauvignon: royal grape
Cabernet Franc: King of Villány Wine Region
Merlot: soft
Syrah: eastern influence, Big body

Using Icons as the base of the design the two decided that each grape would receive its own, unique icon. Therefore, each wine could reflect what was inside the bottle with a few visual cues. By playing with the quantity of each icon, they could give the consumer an idea of what the final wine might offer.

What’s interesting is that this winery was not only branding grapes, but branding them in a visual way that overcomes language barriers. Combine this with fun, lyrical label messages that play with the character of the grape, leaving out any silly food pairing suggestions, and they’re onto something fun and different.

Now I’m not saying that Janus solved all major problem, or that these are the most innovative label designers and marketers I’ve come across, but they took a risk to think differently. They realized that people do shop by grape, and by relating these to visual cues, can create deeper branding. Additionally, they stepped out of the wine bubble to consult a designer who is able to see their world differently. Objectively.

Yes this is a moot point for the first time wine buyer. They are not going to know the “system” when they first pick up a bottle, but it is the “plastic bull” idea – where the consumer, if they like the wine, has an easier route to brand loyalty [Back in my wine shop, if a buyer couldn't find a wine for their pizza on friday night, they defaulted to the one with the plastic bull around it's neck]. These symbols, when first noticed, can create enough curiosity for the casual buyer to connect with them, and possibly seek out new combinations. Beyond that, they represent what is inside visually, and thus go much further than most wine labels who rely on fancy art or funny fonts.

I have yet to taste the full range of Janus wines. This will be remedied soon, but I will say that the couple wines I did taste at the end of a long day were showing great potential. Wines that I would buy, without a doubt.

Wine marketing is a challenge in a sea of copycats. Thinking ‘different’ can be hard to do, but the rewards can be great. Congrats to Janus on their efforts.

Cheers!

Note: This label shown here has a music note icon. This icon has been added as this wine is the official wine of the Pannon Filharmonics Orchestra. In their mind the wines grapes blend with the music so they are shown together.

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Case Study – Social Media Works for Tea

One of the problems with the “should I use social media” discussion is that people who do not, and never will, use these tools natively are the ones making the decisions.

Digital Natives‘ are people who were born in a world where the landscape was always “digital”. If you extend this thinking you then have “social media natives”. I like to say these people are the ones who see no need for a phone book, printed map, or rolodex. I’m almost one of these. I say almost because I still find some things easier to do offline than online, but that is changing quickly.

I start with this because in my daily life, when I want to buy something or learn about something, my first stop, no matter what, is Google. I guess I can see that changing to Bing or Twitter or Facebook at some point, but the fact is that the “web” is my primary destination.

And so, my story begins.

This Christmas, my sister invited my family to stay at a rented house in the Cotswolds for a few days. Great idea! Countryside, hiking, long meals, lots of wine, … a perfect holiday. To make the holiday with family all in one house go smoothly, she gave us all small gifts to help us enjoy our stay. One of these was a not-to-be-mentioned specialty tea company’s assortment of teas. Each person received a different flavor based on their personality. A great gift, and while I wasn’t at that moment a big tea fan, the quality of these teas released a passion in me. I fell in love with them, primarily due to their freshness and quality. I was hooked, and when I got back to Spain I quickly raced to Google to help me fuel my addiction. It turns out that I was in luck as they were available to ship to Spain at a reasonable price.

One week later I was sitting at home with boxes of new teas and was ECSTATIC about beginning my reintroduction to whole-leaf teas – a reintroduction that made me realize how similar high quality teas and wines can be … but that is for another article. The point is, I immediately starting tweeting my satisfaction and including the account of the relevant company in my tweets. I sent a letter to them by email saying “thank you for your great teas”. I even went to their web2.0 website and left comments lauding the greatness of my new favorite teas!

The result: nothing. Not a single “thanks”, “good to hear”, “Happy you’re happy” or other comment. Just silence. Cue the crickets.

I was crestfallen, even heart broken. The packaging was cute, the brand adorable. Expensive, sure, but the quality was amazing. Yet they seem to be fakers in the social world, content to put up twitter and facebook logos on their sites but not ‘walking the walk’.

I considered buying from them again. The quality was great but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I simply didn’t want to support a company who didn’t appreciate me as a customer. So I returned to Google.

This time I found another company with a similar selection but a little less shiny! Less marketing and more tea. A site that was a bit clunkier, and packaging that appeared a bit dull, but they had what I wanted, so I dove in and bought a few sample packs. After selecting various kinds to see what they were like, I hit send.

And then … turn up the happy music. After only a few hours I received an email … from the owner no less. An email that said:

“Thank you for your order, it appears you have a great selection of samples. I’m going to throw in a few of my own favorites, let me know what you think!”

Yeah! I was acknowledged.

Today I received my new teas. I haven’t tasted them yet, but I have 10 new teas to try and a person who is listening to what I think. I’m pretty sure I’ll find a few that I like and I am 99% sure that I will be ordering again. They are also going to be talked about on my twitter stream, facebook page and probably over at LiquidAgnostic.com. At the very least, they are going to sell a pack of tea every month or so to me, and probably to a few of my friends & followers. The cost: 1 email.

If that’s not a killer ROI, I don’t know what is.

I’m off to boil some water.

Photo credit: Ryan Opaz

Engage or Get Out – Don’t waste your time with Social Media

So you have a Facebook page? Great! And a twitter account? Bravo! Even posted a couple of photos, maybe uploaded a video? Good for you. What?? You say you even have a blog? You’ve posted an article or two and have comments enabled? Wow, great job! You’re on your way. Now just stick in there for a few more months, or even years, and you’ll be headed in the right direction!

Today, as I wander around the internet, I see more and more blue and white icons showing up on winery websites as I poke about online. Little reminders that businesses are getting online and “engaging” the consumer. Yet today I want to call Bulls***!

Social media is “social”

Seriously, you do not get points for putting an icon on your website. You do not get credit for being ‘engaged’ because you have a Facebook page. Most of all, you do not get benefits from just pretending to play the game. Social media is about being a social being. I know it’s hard to believe but it is. It’s not just a marketing tool, it’s a way of living. It’s a change in how you think about your consumer. It’s a conversation that actually takes place online, with real people. It’s a conversation that also tends to jump offline into the real world from time to time.

If you want to use Twitter/Facebook, or even start a blog, be ready to change what you’re doing. Don’t come to me and ask “How do we keep doing what we’re doing but at the same time appear more social” because the answer is YOU CAN’T!

If you really want to use Twitter to build your brand, start asking people questions, start engaging your followers, start playing the game. Don’t bother putting up a twitter logo unless you’re going to answer anyone who sends you a tweet! It’s not worth your time, and in the end it will just make you look bad.

If you can’t respond to people who ask you questions on Twitter, or engage in conversations in your blog’s comments, the humans that use these tools will notice, and then they will ignore you. If you don’t want to engage, stick to traditional marketing. It still works, and it can work well. Stick to that, and stay there till you are ready to commit, or ready to hire someone to do it on your behalf.

Just remember that while you can still get away without the “social web” today, those days are numbered, plus the cost of catching up to others later on is getting higher. Social media engagement is at its core an investment of sweat equity. There are no silver bullets. The sooner you start, the easier it will be.  The longer you wait, the sillier you’re going to look.

Get going! Follow me: @ryanopaz – And if you don’t know how to, well then you have a lot to learn.

Ryan

Image via: Daddy Design

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