Tag Archives: TV wine ads

The horror, the horror: Return of the Yellow Tail TV ad

Yellow Tail TV adBrace yourself: Yellow Tail says its Super Bowl ad worked so well that it’s going to make $40 million more of them

Who needs movies with an alien jumping out of someone’s chest? Or a lunatic running around with a chainsaw? We’re going to have more Yellow Tail TV ads.

The horror, the horror!”

The Aussie wine company, whose $7 label is the best-selling import in the U.S., was so excited about the success of its Super Bowl TV ad, reports the Wine Spectator, that the company plans “to pursue a three-year campaign (estimated to cost more than $40 million) centered on TV spots. It’s an unusual venue for promoting wine.”

No kidding, especially since the ad – to put it nicely – was terrible (and you’ll have to click the link to see the ad, since I’m not linking to it again). It caused a furor in its native Australia, eliciting comments like “it humiliated my country,” while the humor that was supposed to be its selling point was about as funny as a Dostoevsky novel. “Pet my roo?” indeed.

But an official for Yellow Tail’s U.S. distributor said the ad boosted sales and social media impressions, so they’re ready to spend the equivalent of 476,190 cases of Yellow Tail for the next round of TV.

Perhaps. But the Wine Curmudgeon should note two things, as part of my campaign to rescue TV wine advertising from its decades-long misery. First, increasing Yellow Tail sales 19 percent by volume and 13 percent by dollars in the ad’s aftermath doesn’t necessarily mean the ad did any good; it could just as easily reflect steep discounting by retailers to move wine that they bought in anticipation of the ad. Second, that the ad generated social media buzz may not be a good thing, since I have a feeling many of the tweets were like this one:

Please, Yellow Trail, change your mind. The wine world has enough problems as it is without any more roo petting.

TV wine ads: Almost 40 years of awful

One of the great mysteries about wine: Why did Americans ever take to it, given how difficult it is to understand and how badly wine has traditionally been marketed?

Case in point is this Bolla commercial from 1978, which more or less coincides with the first increase in wine’s popularity in the U.S. Why would anyone want to drink wine based on the commercial, which doesn’t make much sense? How can a wine be both soft and full-bodied? And even then, marketers focused on what we think of today as “smooth,” making sure to call a red wine soft.

And, because sex sells, we learn that if we drink Bolla, we can get a hot chick. This is the one constant over the past 40 years of silly TV wine ads, and like most of the claims in these ads, there is little truth to it. I was there, and we didn’t. We didn’t even drink wine; we drank beer. Lowenbrau, in fact, to impress a girl. (Video courtesy of Vintage Wine Commercials at YouTube.)

More about TV wine ads:
Riunite on ice — so nice
When Blue Nun ruled the world
TV wine commercials and their legacy
How wine commercials on TV have changed — or not