Monday, October 26, 2009
CUB's (Foster's) new cheap wine brand 'Half Mile Creek' was created to compete with Hardys cheap ranges and to clear the lake of ordinary wine that they have on their hands.
Obviously a designer brand, it is pitched at the bottom end of the market. Winemaking input basically ceased as soon as the grapes were crushed and the stuff was in the tanks. From then on it is an accountants headache and the marketers responsibility. I don't know how much brainstorming went into the name choice but the cynic in me thinks that it went along the lines of this....
Accountant: We've got 10 million litres of this stuff. What are we going to do with it".
Production Guy: "Well, there's a creek a half a mile down the hill, why not just leave the valves open"
Marketing Guy: "Bingo!. Half Mile Creek. The punters will love it".
The marketing team then develop the label and write all sorts of crap describing the wines. They are careful not to ask the winemakers for input and so come up with descriptions like .."It has zesty, citrus flavours and a crisp, dry finish" - Yeah right.
They give the game away when even their own website, on the page dedicated to Half Mile Creek can only come up with : " Half Mile Creek is not complicated - it is an easy drinking wine that is good quality and affordable. The wines are made from the best, most popular varieties and have a focus on full fruit flavours and drinkability. The whites are fresh and vibrant while the reds are rich and warming.
Welcome to Half Mile Creek - where we pour everything into our wines.
Yes, I bet they do pour everything into these wines - sugar, sulphides, acid etc.
On a discussion website the marketers say about the brand "Half Mile was about taking out the confusion from the wine category and making it easier for people who have a small base knowledge of wine. With 5500 stockists selling Half Mile, the wine's drinkers don't necessarily have a great deal of expertise and tended to make their decisions on pricing and brand recognition".
CUB marketing director Steve Arthurson relaunched the wine in May with a substantial tasting program and a $1.1 million advertising campaign that gently poked fun at the snobbery surrounding wine - a direct pitch to those consumers who feel intimidated by wines in the upper price brackets but don't want to feel embarrassed at pulling it out at the barbecue.
This can be interpreted as "The schmucks we are targeting wouldn't know a good wine if they bit them on the arse so why not sell this stuff to them. We were only going to have to tip it out anyway".