The power of an urban legend.

Wine growers, or maybe it’s the wine marketers, seem to understand the power of a yarn.

The Boobook owl is the story that Forest Hill Vineyards, in the great southwestern region of Western Australia, use to market their Cabernet Merlot variety. Apparently the owl’s very distinctive call can be heard around the vineyard at night.

While the name Annie’s Lane, in the Clare Valley, came from the story of Annie Wayman. This is what’s on the back of their label.

Annie Wayman was a legend in the Clare Valley. She could always be relied upon to bring along sandwiches and a warm drink to harvesters and pruners in the vineyard at the turn of the 20th century. One evening, Annie’s horse and cart got bogged in a lane adjacent to one of the valley’s best vineyards. Thus, Annie’s Lane was born.”

Most people buy wine just before they consume it and most are heavily influenced by the label, so what better way to get these impulse buyers to choose a product, than to give them something to remember it by, a good story?

Henry Ford famously made the claim about the colour range of the Model T.

Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.

It’s these stories that empower the consumer to talk about a product and that’s the best way to get it remembered.

The copywriter has long used story telling to aid brand association. However with the current trend, of little or no copy in ads, this art has been lost.

I guess I will just have to read more wine labels.

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