Friday, July 3, 2015

Clueless Marketing of Alcohol

Story time...

I went to a local liquor store today to buy some brews and a few wines for an event tomorrow. There was a lady pouring La Marca prosecco and she asked if I'd like to try a sample - of course I obliged :) She asked if I was familiar with prosecco and I said I knew it was a sparkling wine from Italy, but that's about it. She said, "Yes, well, this one is made in Italy." That was my first clue that something was amiss.

Then she said it was a more balanced prosecco than a lot of others, which tend to be sweeter. So I decided to probe a bit and asked her why it was balanced as compared to sweet. She stumbled on her words a bit and ended up coming out with "It's due to the different kinds of fruit they add to the wine." Ok, now the game is afoot. "What kinds of fruits do they add to this one?" "Oh, well, they don't really tell you, but the bottle says it's fruity."

So I knew I had her at this point. I decided to give her a hand. "It might have something to do with how long they let the fermentation go." Her reply: "Oh, yeah, there are a lot of things that go into it."

I asked her if she was from a marketing company and she replied in the affirmative. Then I said I had some friends who worked at MKTG and wondered if she might know them. She hadn't heard of MKTG so I said it's the company that markets Diageo's products. "What's Diageo?"

After letting her know it's the largest spirits company in the world, she disclosed that she does this marketing only for money and that she actually doesn't drink alcohol at all! Then she asked me for the name of "that marketing company" again (MKTG) so she could inquire about a position there.

This was kind of a sad event. This liquor store has, to me at least, a great reputation for putting on high-quality events with staff who know their liquors inside and out. So having this absolutely clueless woman try to make up nonsense on the spot was kind of like running into a pile of dog poop on an otherwise-pristine white carpet.

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