Monday, February 7, 2011

Finger Lakes Wine and the Super Bowl?

As I get ready to watch the Super Bowl this evening at one of the millions of small gatherings that will pop up across the country today, it certainly seems like this has become one of the biggest and best holidays in the American canon. For my money it is certainly a better holiday than New Year's: more satisfying foods and freedom to make/bring what works, small gatherings of friends as opposed to expensive parties at hotels and restaurants where you know few people, it occurs during the day, and it centers on an actual event as opposed to the arbitrary turn of a clock.

Like any successful holiday, however, the Super Bowl is a success because it provides yet another opportunity for us to get together and share food - especially food that should not be consumed regularly the rest of the year.  Regardless of team affiliation or a person's feelings about football, the other uniting force is undeniably the joy we take in watching the ridiculous advertisements that surround the game, then discussing and comparing them more than the post-game analysts do the quarterbacks.  Most of the advertisements are ultimately forgettable for the very reason that they tried too hard to be different and got lost in the fray.  Some make a splash by being controversial and promptly disappear.  The best stay with us or manage to launch an ad campaign that lasts longer than a three hour game.

This is what got me to thinking about Finger Lakes wine in the context of the Super Bowl.  Wine pairing with the party food-spreads would be a joke; the food, trappings of the games, the cities involved, even the length of the festivities all beg for beer as a beverage and I wouldn't want to see it any other way.  Rather, the advertisements are what pique my interest when it comes to the wine region I love so much.  Namely, if the Finger Lakes Wine Region was to purchase an ad slot for the Super Bowl - how would we best capitalize on that exposure?  Nevermind that the cost is prohibitive ($3 million for 30 seconds?), or that the demographics might not be ideal, given such a large and general audience how could the Finger Lakes raise their profile in 30 seconds?

I would love to see your thoughts below, because I think our best bet would be to simply introduce our region to the non-wine magazine following world.  Some may desire an advertisement that tries to sell the high quality of our wines and the increasingly impressive scores and accolades we are receiving, but as admirable as that is I doubt it would be the best play to a broad audience.  For better or worse, the scores speak for themselves and will do the job of selling the wine in stores whether or not we drop $3 million to help publicize them and give free advertising to their issuers.  What I want is an ad that, when people are thinking about going to a wine store or enter a wine store, makes them seek out Finger Lakes wines:

Advertisement Idea 1:
  • [Screen opens to a short montage of video showing vines absurdly trying to grow in the chaos and cacophony of New York City; out of skyscraper windows, taxis, sewer manholes, Lincoln Center, etc.]
  • [Sharp cut to video of a vineyard looking up and across one of our brilliant blue and cool lakes on a bright sunny day; all green and filled with the sounds of a calm breeze, birdsong, and lazily humming insects.]
  • [After 10 seconds of that calm video, text and/or a voiceover overlay the vineyard video.]
"That's why there is more to New York Wines than New York City."
  • [Text fades to new text.]
"Finger Lakes Wine.  Good For You.  Great With Food."
  • [Text fades out, leaving behind just the vineyard video and it's calming sounds for final few seconds]

Advertisement Idea 2:
  • [Nearly identical to Idea 1.  Difference in that the opening montage shows a single vine desperately trying to grow out of a sidewalk crack in New York City and getting stepped on, splashed with street water, and the like over the requisite sad and lonely music.]
  • [Unseen figure rescues the poor vine and gets it to the Finger Lakes vineyard mentioned in Idea 1, the rest of the ad continues as before.]

So there are two ideas I've had.  Hopefully, you all will have some more to share and thoughts on whether the idea is a worthwhile exercise or not.  We would love to hear them, our region needs it!

By: Kelby Russell, Winemaking Team

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  1. I like your ideas, Kelby, but I think that showing people having fun with Finger Lakes wine could strike a cord with consumers that will stick with them at the wine store. Scenes of groups enjoying wine at a picnic table in our vineyards, along with scenes of groups having fun in tasting rooms could equate to: "I can have that Finger Lakes fun at home if I take one of these wines home!"

  2. As usual Kelby...great ideas.I like the second concept. I also like the idea of combining that with as much Cool Climate info as possible.