How do you get your bottle of wine into the hands of Tom Hanks, James Gandolfini and Sean Penn? By picking up a entertainment marketing agent who know the right hands to shake and the right vintages to drop off on the set. One Napa Valley winery, Clos du Val, has hired an agent at under $5K a month to make sure directors, set designers, stage managers and prop managers turn to their wines first.
Although there's no way to measure the effect on the company's revenue, wine sales in the first quarter of this year were almost 50% higher than a year ago, said Brooke Correll, a former MTV executive who is vice president of marketing for the privately held winery.
People might not pick out the name from a 10-second viewing on television, "but we know from focus groups that the No. 1 thing consumers know about Clos du Val is the terra-cotta label with the curlicues," Correll said.
That plays out in the supermarket, creating brand recognition and encouraging consumers eyeing hundreds of offerings to pick a Clos du Val wine. "It works like a billboard," she said.
A billboard with much nicer furniture, clothes and people.