Sex and Wine in Portugal

Sex and wine in PortugalFollowing the spirit of Kotler’s marketing theories, a company advertising its products always has the clear intention and aspiration “to stimulate” consumption so that in the end the company realises a higher turnover.

Based on the latest knowledge about “modern marketing” one should say: “good marketing and perfect advertising aim to create the need and the appetite to buy the displayed products.” This is “the international approach” on marketing products.

A couple of months ago a PR  agency commissioned us to make a comprehensive assessment of the publicity campaigns they had made for an adega in the Alentejo over the last decade. We had the opportunity of checking hundreds and hundreds of (specialised) wine magazines from the last 15 years. And yes indeed, this was a very fatiguing task !

Taking the job seriously, we preferred to assess the whole sector, not just the client's ad, to give ourselves a broader insight to make a thorough comparative analysis.

After we pinned more than 100 ads on our office walls we could hardly believe our eyes. At first glance it looked like we were in the middle of a sex shop exhibition. Some pics were ugly but others are quite exciting, inviting, suggestive, provoking, enigmatic, sexy and even naughty. I must say that we were definitely gung-ho to learn everything about the subject.

We classified the ads as follows:

• those exhibiting explicit sexual attraction between sexes
• those stimulating wine drinking for single ladies
• those showing sexual arousal of the ladies
• those inviting men to bed “for exercise

However the more profound analysis revealed the following:

• wine ads focus as on “social drinking” as well as on “single drinking
• very often we see very young people in the ads
• most of the ads show scenes from “daily life” seldom from posh parties
• from time to time there are “ludicrous” scenes like the ad with the rabbits and the hat: one wonders if the lady expected to conjure the most excellent wine out of the bottle or to conjure up a prince for the night….
• are adegas “poor people”? More than ¾ of them have still the same visuals as they had 10 or even 15 years ago.
• we also wanted to know if there is a relationship between ad visuals and the quality of the wine promoted. We believe ads for “cheaper wines” prefer “nude or very nude ladies” than their more expensive counterparts.
• In general one can say that these adverts give the wrong message or at least a distorted message, which means that most likely they are “anti-publicity” and “counter-productive” for the product.

And we learned even more than what we already summed up. What to say about “discrimination of the ladies”? Why must ladies always be “the guided missiles” in wineland?

Is this due to a lack of ethics or morality from the PR agencies or the photographers? The disease is already so much spread that even the publicity for coffee, liquors and alcohol all feature women. Another problem is that very often the visual is in direct conflict with the “seja responsável; Beba com moderação” message.

Finally what did we recommend our client?

The answer might be the same for the whole of the sector:

  • quintuple the wine promotion and advertising budget
  • change PR agency and choose a modern one that can present an uodated image
  • only promote the product or the production or the combination of both. For product we can mention two excellent actual examples: the CABRIZ butterfly campaign and for CARTUXA fresh fruit campaign.

Of course we are aware wine is an aphrodisiac product but that doesn’t mean a bottle of wine has to be considered as “a sex toy,” does it ?



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