A) Discuss how the interaction of celebrity and the drinks industry has developed over time.
The drinks industry is no different than other industries in using celebrities to promote their product. The consumers look to the celebrities and the products to choose from for inspiration in their own lives.
Before there was ambassadors and endorsements there was the natural association that was made by the public and fortified by the companies. Examples include Marie Antoinette’s breast supposedly being the mold for the Champagne saucer or Ernest Hemingway and Absinthe’s green fairy. The famous cocktail ‘death in the afternoon’ is said to be inspired by Hemingway or even more famous is the “shaken not stirred” martini made famous by the James Bond movies. The natural association which has turned into several promotions, most famously by Smirnoff Vodka.
Some celebrities are sough out by companies to be used as a brand ambassador. Much care should be taken into the choice of ambassador. One such example of a great pairing has been burlesque star Dita Von Teese and Cointreau. The boudoir-esque image of Cointreau fits perfectly into Dita’s branding and thus a great promotional pairing. This can go wrong, take for example the pairing of rock and roll star Eric Clapton and Michelob. In 1987, Eric Clapton fame in rock and roll music was at a high. His TV commercial promoting the Anheuser-Busch brand beer Michelob came at a time where he had a very published struggle with substance abuse.
As of late celebrities taking the reigns and creating their own brand has gained popularity. Alcoholic beverages are seen as a good investments. One of the largest and most successful started in 1975 when director Francis Coppola purchased some acreage of the age old Inglewood winery. This has now grown into a very successful multi vineyard operation which spans over a 40+ wine portfolio. Not all are as successful, one example is the rapper’s Lil John venture into wine. The...
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