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Vintners About to Uncork Wine Industry Ads

Liquor: Generic promotion intended to attract infrequent drinkers. Campaign intended to help jump-start slowing sales.

October 22, 1998| From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Got wine?

The wine industry hopes you do, and to stir up demand, they plan a campaign of generic advertising, much as the dairy industry does with milk and cheese.

The ads are being developed by Bozell Worldwide, the agency that dreamed up the "milk mustache" ads featuring athletes and other celebrities. They were being previewed Wednesday at the annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa.

The industry hasn't seen a need for such ads, but growth has slowed in recent years, creeping up from 2.13 gallons for each adult in the nation in 1995 to 2.33 gallons each last year. The United States ranks 30th among wine-drinking nations, at 1.92 gallons per capita. The leader is France, at 15.85 gallons.

The ads will begin airing Feb. 15 in two test markets--Austin, Texas, and Albany, N.Y. The three-month $1.3-million campaign will consist of 30-second television spots, radio ads and in-store promotions.

"We're taking a humorous approach to attract infrequent wine drinkers," said John Gillespie, president of the Larkspur-based Wine Market Council, which is behind the campaign.

The television ads are still in the preliminary stages, but one starts off asking the question: "Think wine is only for special occasions?"

Then, a background voice says, "Lucky for you, it's April." The ad then notes that April is Fresh Florida Tomato Month and also features Golden Rule Week and National Honesty Day.

The ad's tag line: "Wine. What are you saving it for?"

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