So AC/DC is the latest band in a long line of famous names to bring out their own wine – a smart attempt to influence a more sophisticated fan base or a ‘highway to hell’ for the winery? PR-wise it’s certainly been successful in generating column inches – a famous name always helps when it comes to the holy grail of wine coverage off the wine columns, but in terms of brand image can a celebrity wine ever really be credible? It’s far from a new phenomenon with Olivia Newton John bringing out her Koala Blue range of Australian wines back in 1983 and Gerard Depardieu – he of the recent ‘oui,oui’ scandal - working for over thirty years with French wineries. Our insight suggests that like any sponsorship or endorsement it all comes down to matching brand values and publics. Francis Ford Coppola, with a long family history of winemaking and a high-brow fan base has managed to achieve both critical acclaim and financial success for the Californian wineries that he owns. On the other hand, wine enthusiasts are likely to shun the vinous offerings of Madonna and AC/DC, but if their wines open up the world of wine to a new audience of music fans then surely it has to be a good thing, with one proviso – the quality has to match up to the price. Charging a huge premium for a poor quality wine just because it has a photo of a famous person on the front will do nothing in the long term for the image of the wine or the personality – who could forget the moment that Sir Cliff Richard described his own wine as ‘tainted and inspid’ on the ‘F-Word’?
Posted by Anna Harris-Noble