Mainstreaming of Rap Music & Wine

As I was driving up Highway 280 from San Jose back to Glen Ellen after visiting my mother I heard something on the radio that was arresting. It was a radio commercial for a wine that mocked rap music in an attempt to present and market the wine.

The commercial went something like this: To make it these days you need a rap star to endorse your product. No rap star would return our calls. So, we’ll do it ourselves. Then, the announcer bounces into a mock rap song about the new Pinot Noir: "Gino Da Pinot".

I had to find out who had the cajones to push their wine using such a mocking, irreverent, outside the box, even weird, marketing approach.

Of course, it was Don Sebastiani & Sons, better known as Screw Cappa Napa, Mia’s Playground, Used Auto Parts, Plungerhead, etc.

The new Gino Da Pinot label will apparently introduce a well priced Monterey Pinot Noir too the market…using this irreverent marketing approach. No on in the wine business is taking this almost self mocking irreverence to the lengths as the folk at Don Sebastiani & Sons; and no one is doing it as successfully as they are.

The Gino Da Pinot pushback on the mainstreaming of Rap is indicative of a lot of things. First, it assumes that rap is such a cultural mainstay that its mocking is now possible. Second, it presumes correctly that many wine drinkers want to be entertained as much as they are satisfied.

Don Sebastiani & Sons was named "Winery of the Year" for 2005 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. They deserve every inch of the Award.

One Response

  1. genevelynsteele - May 15, 2006

    It’s interesting that the marketing campaign is mocking rap instead of embracing it. I wonder how this will affect rap fans and their inchoate buying power (which I believe will grow rapidly as wine becomes an even more mainstream drink of choice)?
    Cristal is often asked for but rarely on hand or purhcased because of its limited quantity and its price–but–I can barely keep Saracco Moscato D’Asti on shelves since it has been mentioned by Kanye West and rapped about by Lil’ Kim.

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