I posted this short essay on my work intranet today, randomly inspired and feeling a little wistful of my days studying media and communications back in University. I haven’t blogged in so long (sorry, to anyone out there who’s still reading!), I thought I’d share it here:
Interesting read about the evolution of wine branding!
I’ve tasted many of the quoted examples, some of which are curriculum WSET wines I have to pour for educational purposes. What are your thoughts on tongue-in-cheek labels?
To me, it seems, new-school mainstream wine brands are becoming less about tangible items (physical animals, buildings, totems) with internal symbolism to be deciphered or be attributed individual meaning by the consumer.
Rather, brand imagery is moving more toward literal, spelled-out representations of mood-driven, emotional concepts meant to quickly convey a trope or state of mind. Newest-wave wine brands are essentially capturing the spirit of their target consumer by becoming their own memes. White Girl Rosé, anyone?
In today’s hyper-speed consumer’s world where one must get the message across in 0.01s, the brand itself is assuming the traditional role of advertising. Consumers are now the new advertisers because we now can and do a better job of spreading the word on our own.
We are far better able today, globally, to have an equal and mutual understanding of societal trends because oversharing and condensing information into the smallest nugget possible is the new norm. (For where is the fun to be had in emailing or phoning people in groups or individually, versus telling the world something quickly via text message, tweet/Vine, Instagram, or Snapchat? Moreover, why reiterate an idea using one’s own words, when one can simply regram and retweet?)
Verily, we, and technology, can process a lot more information in shorter times than ever before. We are now able to pack so much more meaning into so few words because we’ve collectively seen and heard, and most importantly, agreed on, the news happening around the world. (The dress was blue and brown!)
Even in the retail world – ideas that were internal and needed explaining to the consumer – we’ve caught on so fast that BOGO is no longer a foreign concept to us.
With regard to this article, it would seem the beverage alcohol world is embracing the “meme-ified” approach particularly as Millennials (who are straddling that divide between modern and postmodern marketing) age and make way for the nascent Generation Z (who are the pulse of new and cool, and embody the driving force behind the quickening pace of social change) to become the next fleet of new drinkers.
Marshall McLuhan’s old chestnut, “the medium is the message” still rings true today. It’s just that marketers must reshape the message to accommodate the new mass media.