News to Me

I’ve been attentively watching the changes in beverage labeling, marketing and product offers over the summer as beverage producers continue their efforts to appeal to a broader audience. From Pepsi announcing two new brand extensions to Aquafina’s new advertising, at least one company is trying new things to rev up markets. If you haven’t seen them, water marketers have cleverly created scenes in which bar goers are ravishingly enjoying rounds of, you guessed it, water instead of the expected beer, wine and spirits. As a bottled water consumer, my first question when I saw the campaign for the first time was ‘why didn’t they think of that sooner?’ I haven’t seen advertising yet for the two Pepsi offerings, but I can assume it’s going to provoke consumers to get out and take a chance on the unique arrivals.
While manufacturers in the United States are picking up on American trends and preferences, international producers are capturing American profiles. For example, French wine producers are reportedly changing labels to include the type of grape contained in each bottle. The move — expanding label characteristics to comply with what American and New World producers provide — is highly contrary to the historical placement of only the wine region on each bottle of French wine. I can’t be sure that the move is purely to appeal to American consumers, however France is anxious to get its wines back into the hands of new age drinkers such as Americans who expect grape varietal information. Regardless of the reasons, the results of the change will be interesting to watch unfold.
Bordeaux moments
Amorous storytellers are being invited by the Bordeaux Wine Council to share their most seductive Bordeaux moment for a chance to win one luxury week for six — yes, you read that correctly, six — in the preeminent chateau Bordeaux. With the thought that nothing is more alluring than a glass of Bordeaux, willing scribes are asked to submit their pithy tales in 75 words or less. The contest runs through December and winners will be announced online in January 2005. Those with tales to tell should check out for details.
Coke and a chip
Innocent promotion or spyware? The U.S. military is not taking any chances that a summer Coke promotion, which uses custom-built soda cans containing cell phone and global positioning technology to award prizes, will compromise base security. reported that some military officials are worried the cans could be used to eavesdrop. While Coke says the idea is absurd because the can used for the promotion is dramatically different looking than your average Coke can, the military is erring on the side of caution, asking soldiers to examine their Coke cans before bringing them to classified meetings or restricted areas.
Snowman roadshow
The Nestea Cool Snowman is on a nationwide tour dubbed “Cool to the Core.” A recent stop in New York City had the cool dude and his Snow Bunnies cooling down parks and other hot spots in the Big Apple. The Snowman and his entourage visited the Today Show, ESPN’s Cold Pizza, Times Square and the South Street Seaport, bringing Nestea Cool to visitors and natives alike. The Nestea initiative is targeted at 12- to 24-year-old males and continues through August in other U.S. cities.
Hitching a ride with Lance
Even before Lance Armstrong wore the yellow jersey as he won his record-breaking sixth consecutive Tour de France, Coca-Cola resigned its promotional deal with the cyclist for its Dasani water. The relationship, which began in 2000, will now run through 2006. Terms of the agreement were not revealed. Dasani’s summer promotions featured Armstrong and his quest to win six.
Cable-television’s History Channel took reality TV to a new level earlier this month with the launch of Modern Marvels: Distilleries. The program explored the business of distilling spirits from an artisan and scientific perspective. Top spirits experts shared their expertise on how vodka, gin, tequila, Scotch, rum and Bourbon are produced. If you missed this fascinating look into the business, check your local listings for a second showing.