jamie goode's wine blog: Finding love with cheap South African wine

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finding love with cheap South African wine


Have you heard about Stormhoek's new social experiment/marketing tactic? It involves taking a film director, a strategic communications operative (Catherine Monahan, ex-Cube, now working for Orbital) and Stormhoek's celebrity blogger Hugh MacLeod around a large number of Tesco stores to talk about love...and presumably Stormhoek's new rose wine, which is on the obligatory promotional offer at 4.99 down from 6.99.
Hugh's mission is to chat up girls in the supermarket and convince one of them to come on an expenses paid date in South Africa.
As he says on one of the videos, 'I think there's something totally kind of surreal about what we are doing, but if you don't do something slightly surreal, you are not going to sell any wine, you are not going to get a date in South Africa'. He concludes that, 'nothing worth doing is ordinary'.

The two weeks are up today, and Catherine has sent in the following report, and I don't quite know what to make of it:

"1. Hugh has decided that he loves a girl he met in Blackpool called Lois Quinnelle - but she's not miss right cos she's gay... so he's decided that never mind, he and Tesco will sponsor the gay love story of the year and whisk her down with her partner tonight, to a private London Eye Valentine's Cubic Capsule, filled with Champagne and Rose and Chocolates, followed by a champagne cruise, dinner at Bibendum and stayover at the Sydney Street Hotel, London.

2. Hugh has a secret "evil plan" as he calls it... He reveals all about his secret love plan and his love affair ... it's much bigger and more evil and exciting than we thought... but i don't know about it until tonight...AND you have to keep watching the movies from tomorrow to find out!So, if you fancy joining us in the celebrations,(if you're not otherwise engaged tonight!) come meet us tonight at 7:30pm at the London Eye where all the excitement begins and will continue with a twist in the tail....we're filming, signing cartoons, handing out Valentine's cards, prints, t-shirts, boxer shorts, g-strings, caps and we'd love you to join us!"


Sadly, I'm otherwise engaged tonight. So what happens? Does Hugh get together with Catherine?
You can see the videos and Hugh's commentary on the excercise at: http://www.gapingvoid.com/

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10 Comments:

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

I only just caught up with this a couple of days ago.
My gapingvoid newsfeeds have been disrupted (no such problem with jamie goode's wine blog however).
It is interesting, though not sure how effective ultimately in terms of actual sales such a campaign will be.
There are a number of wine trade professionals around the world watching with interest.
I am confused however, what is the relationship now between gapingvoid and Stormhoek?

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Jamie

I work for Stormhoek now, not for CUBE

Thanks and watch the web www.stormhoek.com for futher details!

Best
Catherine

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the wine that bad they have to resort to such stunts?

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Anon, it's not that the wine is bad and they need to resort to gimmicks to sell it. The Stormhoek wines are good value, well-made modern wines. It's a question of getting consumers to select them from the typical bewildering wall of wines you find in even a modest-sized supermarket. Stormhoek are pioneers in thinking about novel ways to market their wines - when everyone else seems to have given up and just relied on deep discounting and faux price promotions.

Paul,
gapingvoid is Hugh (as you know), who is hired by Stormhoek to help with their marketing. Stormhoek have used Hugh as their entry point into the techhie/blogging community.

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Stuart Peskett said...

Heh, nice bit of hasty editing, Jamie.

So, Catherine's no longer a "PR chick", huh?

 
At 12:40 PM, Anonymous D said...

No matter how you slice it, it still looks cheap and tacky. And just because it is different from deep discounting doesn't make it better. It is all about brands managing big pr budgets (and how well they do it) nothing to do with the wine itself.

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous e said...

d - Spot on! It's not about wine... it's about a bigger picture... i think they're trying to engage with the customer and the consumer... something most of us in the wine industry don't do particularly well

 
At 12:41 AM, Anonymous f said...

Sorry, couldn't help my self

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous G for Police said...

Initally speaking

A is for horses
B for Mutton
C for Miles
D for Dumb
E for Peron
F for Vescent

H from Steps

and my two favourites

V for La France
and

Y for Runts

 
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