The Age of the Mundane (Wine Edition)

dogatwineryThe speed with which the Age of the Mundane overtook us was breathtaking. And now here we are. Seemingly stuck in the midst of a culture that celebrates and collectively participates in the dull, boring and tiresome.

It’s all of our fault, but it was the Internet and the ability for anyone to broadcast any random, simple thought to thousands or millions at a time that precipitated the current state of affairs where the mass dissemination of the most monotonous parts of our lives has largely come to define how we interact with the world.

Though I try to avoid it, I too participate. But when it comes to business, you really don’t have to. For the wine industry and for its marketers and social media mavens the message is simple: PLEASE DON’T BE BORING AND PLEASE DON’T BE INCONSEQUENTIAL.

How many vineyard pictures can we publish on our winery Facebook timeline without being ashamed of ourselves?

How many pictures of dogs or cats in tasting rooms does it take to qualify us as pushers of the mundane?

Will another half-hearted motivational quote that includes mention of the wine making life better really make life better for anyone?

My hunch and my fear is that the proliferation of extraordinarily mundane sentiment masquerading as information has accustomed us to thinking this sort of content might be appropriate in the business world.

If social media marketing is going to succeed in helping wineries or wine stores or vineyards to better market their products it’s not going to be done by showcasing a picture of a bottling line or commenting on the “beautiful weather in wine country.”

If social media marketing and content marketing is going to succeed in helping the wine industry better market its products it’s going to be done by challenging our customers, providing them with thoughtful insights and by producing a body of social media content that engages the intellect and desires.

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2 Responses

  1. Bill McIver - December 27, 2016

    Tom, you are Jerry Mead reincarnated! Jerry challenged us at Matanzas Creek for worthwhile stories and we came up with ideas like a field of lavender, Family Winemakers of California, legalized direct shipping, and $75 Chardonnays/$100 Merlots (before they became popular)…

  2. Bob Henry - December 27, 2016

    Tom,

    I would add one modest [editing change] to your statement:

    “It’s all of our fault, but it was the Internet and the ability for anyone to broadcast any random, simple[-ton] thought to thousands or millions at a time that precipitated the current state of affairs where the mass dissemination of the most monotonous parts of our lives has largely come to define how we interact with the world.”

    ~~ Bob

    A postscript observation from a “man of letters” . . .

    From the Los Angeles Times “Op-Ed” Section
    (February 10, 2012, Page A19):

    “Syntax? Logic? Why?”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-02-10/on-web-no-one-cares-if-you-write-like-a-dog-commentary-by-michael-kinsley.html

    By Michael Kinsley
    Bloomberg View columnist and
    Former Editor of the Los Angeles Times “Op-Ed” Page

    It’s been going on for too long, right before our eyes. Inevitably, someone was going to blow the whistle, and wouldn’t you know it would be Felix Salmon, the famous financial blogger for Reuters?

    . . .

    Nothing, though, prepared me for the dazzling brilliance of Felix’s blog item this week [circa February 2012] about the quality of writing on the Internet. … his basic point is that on the Web, SHEER QUANTITY TRUMPS QUALITY. …

    FACTS, SCHMATCS

    … Felix’s blog post … argue[s] that ALL ASPECTS OF GOOD WRITING — accuracy, logic, spelling, graceful turns of phrase, wisdom and insight, puns (only good ones), punctuation, proper grammar and syntax (and what’s the difference between those two again?) — ARE ALL OVERRATED.

    . . .

    … Now one of our nation’s leading bloggers has confessed what we all suspected: that bad writing is inherent to the online world. …


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