Monday, November 23, 2009

Wily Jack: The New Market Brand

Continuing from the discussion on marketing and "branding," when was the last time you saw a brand? You know, one of those metal pokers with a design on the end of it that one heats up before pushing it into the backside of livestock. I am a city boy, born and raised in Philadelphia, lived in Chicago for about five years and now I am living in New York City. Just about as far from livestock as I could possibly be.

S0 when I received a brand in the mail with a few wines it caught my attention. Its not every day wine comes with a big toy.

Wily Jack, Diageo's newest brand launched on October 1, has all the markings of marketing powerhouse. Even Eric Asimov, wine writer for The New York Times, wrote about it on the website (I refuse to call that a blog). Really, it was a big red flag that these wines have been made in a boardroom, mass produced, and pushed out to the world with a clever story and a lot of money behind them. Working in PR and marketing (if you do not know where I work by now, then you are not paying attention) makes me especially jaded to flashy labels and fictional story lines.

However, no matter what the marketing might be, I need to be able to taste the wines. And for the most part, for $8, the wines were drinkable. The 2008 Chardonnay was the worst of the bunch for me, all butter and cream and no fruit, no freshnes. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was overly sweet, with a ton of tannin. Still missing out on the fruit. The 2007 Zinfandel was the best of the bunch, with cinamon spice, plum and black pepper.
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