[Video: “Skater”. Todd Elrod, harmonica player with The Doodlin’ Hogwallops. Alpine, Texas.]
More thoughts on “Futile Marketing”…
1. In the last few weeks, with the help of Loren Feldman’s trusty video camera, we launched Stormhoek in Alpine, Texas, of all places. As I said earlier:
Re. Wine marketing: Usually, when an imported wine launches in the States, a familiar pattern emerges. Hire New York or SF restaurant for the evening. Organize wine tasting. Try to get the usual freeloaders, PR wannabe’s, and random warm bodies to attend. If a C-List celeb somehow turns up by some Miracle of God, become ecstatic. Send Press Release out to the usual suspects in the media. Watch Press Release be utterly disregarded by All & Sundry. Watch absolutely nothing happen afterwards. Witness the entire story disappearing into the dustbin of history within nanoseconds. And so on.
So we at Stormhoek decided to go in the exact opposite direction, as far away from the Usual Suspects as possible. “Hey, let’s launch in Alpine, Texas! Let’s see if we can get real West Texan cowboys to like South African wine! It’s totally insane! It’s_totally_futile!_It’s_totally_wrong!_Let’s_do_it_anyway!”
[The official “Dream Big” t-shirt…]
2. Our campaign tagline is “Dream Big. Alpine, Texas”. Inspired by the back label on the Stormhoek bottle, of course.
3. I think you really need to “Dream Big” on some level to live out here in the high Texas desert, 400 miles West of Austin. This is true whether you’re working construction, waiting tables, teaching elementary school or launching a wine brand.
4. You may lovee the tagline, you may hate the tagline. Whatever. They seem to like it out here. A lot. That’s all that matters.
5. We’re just going to concentrate on marketing the wine in Texas for the time being. Trying to do it nationally is just too much work. This country is way too big.
6. We’re starting in Alpine, then we’ll ripple out. Next is Marfa, Texas, then Marathon, Fort Davis, Terlingua, Presidio, Fort Stockton, San Angelo, Midland-Odessa, Del Rio… If that goes well, we’ll get ambitious. Ozona, Sanoma, Junction, Harper, Fredericksberg… We’ll keep going till we hit the bigger towns: Houston, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, El Paso, San Antonio, Amarillo…
7. Texans don’t drink a lot of South African Wine. They will by the time I’m done with them.
8. Dream Big. Alpine, Texas. Exactly.
[Update:] Talking about this blog post on Twitter: “I’m either going to make this thing fucking work or die trying.” Yes.