Wine and the Clean Butt Theory of Advertising
Some products just don't lend themselves to being marketed by touting their primary function or benefit. Wine is a perfect example. Wine, like beer and spirits, is primarily differentiated from every other beverage not by its taste, not by its origin and not by its appearance. It's differentiated from every other beverage by the fact that it will get you Drunk.Looped. Messed up.
And yet this very specific and very primary differentiation from all other beverages is never touted in the marketing of wine.
There are other products that similarly take a detour from touting their primary benefit. Take toilet paper. They tell you it's soft and coushiony. But in marketing the stuff, just as wine marketers rarely tell you that chardonnay will get your drunk, they rarely tout the fact that it cleans poop off your ass.
It's not difficult to understand why they avoid the ass-cleaning properties of toilet paper. Just like we don't like to talk about our drunkenness, we don't like to talk about our dirty bottoms.
Well it appears that the good folks at Charmin have overcome any distaste for touting the primary benefit of their product and have even taken to the airwaves to get right to the point:
I'll grant that they are using a euphemism or two, but the point is the butt…and the freshness that Freshmates deliver to the butt.
This all makes me wonder if the alcohol industry will ever get around to discussing the primary effect of its products. If you too are wondering how long it will take a spirits or wine or beer company to happily state, "It'll get you fucked up, but fast," I'm here to tell you—don't hold your breath.
Rule #33 of the Code Of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol
Advertising and Marketing of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States says:
"Beverage alcohol advertising and marketing materials should not refer to the alcohol content of a beverage alcohol product except in a straightforward and factual man-ner or promote the potency of a beverage alcohol product."
Rule #1 of the Wine Institute's Code of Advertising Standards states:
"Wine advertising shall not depict or describe in their advertising the consumption of wine for the effects the alcohol content may
Now, this general prohibition on not discussing the primary effect of a product is probably a good thing. It's likely that if wineries were to go around touting the ability of their product to get you looped they'd see just as many folks start buying the product to test this claim as we'll see folks investigating Freshmates to determine if we really want a "Routine for a Cleaner Clean."