Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Targeted by Marketing Guerrillas

I was sitting in the bar of the Hotel Rouge in DC the other day sipping a Manhattan with some business associates when we were approached by a little hottie carrying a wine bottle.

I assumed, as anyone would, that she was a waitress at the hipster hangout. But I learned in the next few moment the waitress gettup was camouflage.

She approached our table and offered: "Hi, I wonder if you would mind trying a free sample of our new wine, Virgin Vines Shiraz."

Wha!?! I never thought I would hear the words "free," "virgin," and "sample" in the same sentence. And even though I can think of a better context for hearing those three words, I've never been one to turn down an offer of free booze.

But let me be clear. Virgin Vines is from the famous Richard Branson (err.. ahem..) Sir Richard Branson Virgin franchise.

That's right, the people who brought you Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Partially Gelatinated Non Dairy Gum Based Beverages, now brings you Virgin Vines from California's Napa valley.

Based on the website, Branson and Co. are targeting a younger, club-scene demographic. But you know what? Even though this old fart doesn't fit that demographic (I'm all of 35 years now), the Shiraz was pretty damn good and I'll probably buy a few bottles.

So I fell victim to the guerrilla marketing tactic. And if you've read this far, so have you.

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  1. More smooching in the world of corporate travel, I hear.

    Right, I'm off to get some Virgin wine, although that sounds like something 14-year old death-metallers would be sacrificing to the devil.


  2. "Wha!?! I never thought I would hear the words "free," "virgin." and "sample" in the same sentence"

    Neither did I.

  3. Were you able to pick up all the nuances of the wine after drinking a Manhattan? ;-)

    I wonder how Virgin seals their bottles. Somehow, jamming a cork in them just doesn't seem right . . .

  4. Actually, Virgin is adopting the new technology known as the srew-top. Not anything wrong with that, a lot of wineries are going the screw-top route because of the risck of cork contamination.


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