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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Current Vodka Advertising

    I don't know if anyone saw the ad for Grey Goose, Anjou Pear on page 13 of the New York Times' Sunday Styles section.

    It is a sophisticated example of modern advertising and probably is based on research on the social attitudes and expectations of high-income consumers in large metropolitan areas.

    The black and white ad has an understated plainness and recalls consumer ads of high-end products from the 1950's and 60's. It is mostly textual. The only image is a photo of the bottle with the pear charmingly nestled against it. So right away there is an appealing, retro, "solid" (but not stodgy) feel to it.

    The copy is written in a somewhat stilted, formal-sounding English. It took me a minute or so to realise it was probably intended to sound (albeit vaguely) as if translated from French. The copy speaks grandly of the "Maitre de Chai", "whose expertise is steeped in the tradition of Cognac houses" (master of the barrels). It is he who oversees the preparation of the good vodka that informs this fine blending of pear liquor and wheat-based vodka. Specifically, he is responsible for "uniting" [probably taken from the French verb "reunir"], "a variety of natural resources to create the signature characteristics of Grey Goose vodka".

    Following this elegant-sounding, foreign theme, the ad at the end states, "In regard to final results, [En ce qui regarde le resultat final...?] Grey Goose Vodka and Anjou Pear will be feted at receptions and gatherings throughout the year". This satisfying, somehow inevitable-sounding conclusion is preceded by flowery, charming language such as e.g., that the "tender wheat" is "among the world's finest" and is "the same wheat used to create the finest French breads and pastries". Mais zut alors!

    Also, the piece is set up in a minor key as a gentle pastiche of a newspaper review of a society wedding. Thus, "Anjou Pear has chosen to change its name to Grey Goose La Poire Flavored Vodka". And, "In attendance were family members Grey Goose L'Orange and Grey Goose Le Citron...". Clever indeed.

    I have to admire (really) this kind of sophisticated modern advertising, I am sure a lot of thought went into it. Hopefully the product will live up to the billing!

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 02-05-2007 at 19:00.

  2. #2
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    Re: Current Vodka Advertising

    Though I'm not a vodka drinker I can admire the artful care that goes into such advertising. I've never tried an infused vodka, I've no use for one. I have of course tried plain vodka many years ago (think youthful experimentation). I didn't "get It" then and I don't "get It" now. The whole super premium vodka craze is something I don't understand; much like bottled water. No matter what your water problems there are in home solutions, watter softener, iron filter (I have one that takes out the hydrogen sulfide), And nowadays home R O systems. All, in the long run, at a fraction of the cost of bottled water. I mention the "phenomenon of bottled water" only because I think the two are related in that they stem from the same "modern consumer attitude". Or to put it more bluntly, and I know I will get flamed for this, there is a disturbingly large segment of people with more money than sense.

    But back to the advertising. I think vodka and especially super premium brands are successful largely because of this type of slick Madison avenue presentation. If only bourbon got the same treatment. Makers Mark sells all they can make, I think because of a successful add campaign. It's a mystery to me why other distilleries don't follow their lead.

    Thumbing though any magazine such as Maxim you'll see lots of sleek sexy adds for vodka and infused vodka. The message here is: drink our product and you will appear suave and sophisticated. It'll get you laid. I find it hard to believe that young men of today really want a neutral tasting spirit. Never under estimate the power of advertising/the media to shape public opinion. Any producer of consumer goods who dosn't use this to his advantage is guilty of being some form of luddite. And those that do and do it well have a keen understanding of human nature, sort of like Niccolo Machiavelli and Joseph Gerbils all rolled into one. Anyway I didn't mean for this to become an anti vodka rant. My hats off to those in advertizing.

  3. #3
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Current Vodka Advertising

    Gary, I'm sorry but I have no appreciation for this type of marketing glitz. If anything, looking at that type of ad would tell me that I should NEVER buy this product.

    I wonder if the marketing gurus know their are consumers out there like me?

  4. #4
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    Re: Current Vodka Advertising

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    I wonder if the marketing gurus know their are consumers out there like me?
    They do most certainly know there are comsumers out there like you (and me). They just don't care since we are the very small minority...

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Current Vodka Advertising

    I just thought it was interesting how this ad read. It seems to be going for a specific kind of market, and I think it does a great job of that. The thing about marketing is, you can recognise it for what it is. It has a job to do and sometimes does it very well. But as to the product, we (especially here who focus on how beverage alcohol tastes) will, for the most part, make our decision based on the price/quality ratio - the quality referring to how it tastes.

    Also, there are segments of the market (for vodka) that will appeal more to some than others, e.g., some here may favor microdistilled vodka where they can find it because it may be made from local ingredients (thus supporting the local economy), or made a certain way. I bought one some months ago made by Kittling Ridge in Grimsby, Ontario, just because it was a craft product, but also it had a higher proof than most vodka sold here, so it was different. It was good, too.

    There is something for everyone. I rarely drink vodka, but I found the ad interesting unto itself. I am with you, Wade, in wanting to understand how products are made and what distinguishes them from others and what (hopefully) makes some better than others. I have my eye on Ketel One now because I read recently a small amount of "moutwijn" (a low-proof grain distillate) is added to it to give it roundness and body. So this is the kind of thing that interests me when it comes actually to buying a product in this category. But I found the ad fascinating nonetheless.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 02-06-2007 at 04:50.

  6. #6
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    Re: Current Vodka Advertising

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    Gary, I'm sorry but I have no appreciation for this type of marketing glitz. If anything, looking at that type of ad would tell me that I should NEVER buy this product.

    I wonder if the marketing gurus know their are consumers out there like me?
    Quote Originally Posted by heatmiser View Post
    They do most certainly know there are comsumers out there like you (and me). They just don't care since we are the very small minority...
    Oh, they know you are out there. And you are in their gun sights, too. You guys just weren't the target audience of the ad Gary was speaking of.

    When the marketing 'works' on us we mostly likely don't even notice it as such. In fact, we probably do free advertising for them. Got any shirts or jacket with a corporate logo on it? Ever tell a friend about a sale you saw advertised? Ever post on a favorite bottle thread or mention that you really like a label?

    Of course, value for money is the marketing ploy that works best, especially when it come to our favorite beverage.

    Ed
    Bourbon makes me happy.

    Go Fighters!

 

 

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