You Can Almost Taste It

August 8th, 2007

I like wine.  Not to see it in a magazine or on TV.  But to experience it – its color, its bouquet and of course, its taste.

So the folks at Robert Mondavi got my seal of approval when they rejected traditional advertising in favor of an experiential marketing tour.  The “Crush in the City” tour is an interactive, experiential, living marketing material that hits Mondavi’s key audiences – those who attend Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago, the jazz festival in Boston and similar events – in a meaningful way.

Damon Musha, marketing director of Centerra Wine (Mondavi’s parent company), told the New York Times that the tour “allows us to get emerging consumers and help them become brand-loyal. They can learn about wine in a non-threatening environment.”

Learning is key to the Mondavi “road show.”  They’ve hired food guru Ted Allen (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Iron Chef” and “Top Chef”) to teach those who come to “Crush in the City” (which is free) how to prepare foods that match well with specific wines and how to cook with different wines.  And let’s not forget the most educational piece – the wine tasting bar.

We’ve spent a good bit of words on this blog talking about experiential marketing.  Positive experiences catalyze effective word-of-mouth marketing.  Experiences create brand loyalty.  And good experiences can overcome bad experiences.  But what Mondavi has demonstrated is that learning paired with experience can be effective marketing.

Education about a topic is a challenge many of our b-to-b clients face.  They try again and again to tell their story but their intended audiences often don’t “get it.”  If they can add an experience to that education, they will likely be much more effective.

And then they can sit back and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

Posted Under: Storytelling
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