'Subtle' advertising makes wine seem an attractive lifestyle choice – expert
WINE marketing is less "in your face" than other types of alcohol advertising, but still very pervasive, a marketing expert has said.
From wine-tasting courses to heavy links with food, wine marketing tends to be more subtle than that for beer or spirits, said Dr Olivia Freeman, a lecturer in consumer marketing at Dublin Institute of Technology.
Wine companies and retailers tended to focus on wine as a relaxing lifestyle choice that appealed to women rather than the action-packed, sporty images advertisers used to sell beer and spirits, she said.
Irish Wine Association figures show Irish people drink a staggering 108 million bottles of wine a year. That's nearly twice as much as we did back in 2000. The figures also show that 55pc of the wine drunk in Ireland is consumed by women, suggesting the subtle mode of advertising has filtered through to its target audience.
Dr Freeman said branded wines at the lower end of the price scale used the conventional mass-marketing tools of billboards and TV advertising.
"Wine ads tend to show people sinking back, drinking with friends, often at home, the message is very much "because I'm worth it'," she said.
For more expensive makes of wine, marketing tended to be strongly linked to food or done through wine-tasting courses.
Wine and steak sales at supermarkets or links to festivals were another way to promote the idea of wine as an accompaniment to food.
The wine industry also put a huge emphasis on getting favourable reviews in newspapers and food and lifestyle magazines, which was a more subtle form of marketing, Dr Freeman said.