Senior VP-Marketing Mike Jaeger has divested Sutter Home's marketing of the usual astringent wine scenarios, claims and snobbiness in favor of a more down-to-earth, humorous campaign from agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
"If there is one common theme, it is that wine should be enjoyed, it shouldn't be worshiped," says Mr. Jaeger, 37.
The results have been a sales growth of more than 20%, despite a price increase of as much as $1 per bottle on products selling for between $7 and $11.
The everyday approach has been carried into Sutter Home's new World Wide Web site (www.sutterhome.com) where all terms are in everyday English, "not in wine-speak," says Mr. Jaeger.
Also helping Mr. Jaeger: products directed at more young and new wine drinkers, such as its Soleo red wine, which is less sophisticated than a full-strength cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel. Point-of-purchase materials suggest ways of serving the wine as spritzers or as other concoctions over ice and along with spicy snacks. Sutter Home also offers a non-alcoholic wine and line extensions in food categories, such as pasta sauces.
The future of wine marketing may be much more difficult than the past, acknowledges Mr. Jaeger-especially amid possible government regulation of alcoholic-beverage advertising on TV.