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Goodby Uses Humor in Wine Spots

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TV Ads for Sutter Home Buck Trend to Maintain Relaxed Image
LOS ANGELES-Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has created two new TV spots for Sutter Home that use humor to position the California vintner as the best choice for everyday wine consumption.
The ads, backed by a $6.5 million media buy, break in October, and will run for 10 weeks on national cable and spot TV in 16 major metro markets.
The Northern California winery hopes the effort, which matches other premium wineries' tacks of pushing into more relaxed occasions, will gird the brand against possible price increases and strengthen sales of its core brand. This move anticipates the costly introduction of a new upmarket label in mid-1998.
The ads from the San Francisco-based agency continue the brand's theme, "Here's to every day," begun in 1996.
In one spot, a couple is enjoying wine and a video on a Friday night as they wait for their dinner to arrive, hoping that the delivery person takes longer than the promised 30 minutes. The delivery car comes crashing through a wall, but the couple is unfazed since it is late and the food is free. In a second ad, a young couple toasts their new house as they don earplugs, revealing their house to be at the end of a runway.
"Most of our competitors say that humor is the wrong creative strategy," said Michael Jaeger, Sutter Home's senior vice president of marketing. "But we feel this is more effective than the typical wine barrel or lifestyle imagery that others use."
Sutter Home is the second California winery this year to create a significant budget to push varietals at a time when wine sales are surging. Fetzer introduced a $6 million campaign in June. The whole category spent just over $30 million on TV advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Sutter Home, priced between $4-6, is the top-selling premium wine in grocery store distribution, according to Neilsen's ScanTrack. Sales grew 24 percent in 1995, when Sutter Home last had a major ad campaign.