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Packaging with a Sense of Humor

What’s wrong with having some fun with labels and packaging? Nothing that I’m aware of. Although BusinessWeek doesn’t seem to like it.

My wife and one of my daughters came home one Sunday afternoon with a bottle of Shiraz from Virgin Vines. This is what it said on the label:

Dare to enjoy this wine without dashes of pretentiousness or hints of snootiness. Virgin Vines believes that wine should be all about having fun and loving the taste … not waxing poetically about meaningless wine-speak and food pairings. Simply drink this big, bold red with something or someone you find delicious.

p.s. If you feel the need to describe this wine as “full bodied with great legs,” we suggest you lie down until the feeling passes.”

I like the approach, but not everybody does. I did a quick search, and discovered Virgin Vines Says It’s Hip to be Dumb in BusinessWeek. What, wine sacrilege? They say:

But as increasingly clever marketers find success with simple, compelling labels — think Yellow Tail and Marilyn Merlot — they’re discovering another way appeal to the $10-wine buyer: Make fun of the $30-and-up buyers. Think about how Rush Limbaugh talks about liberals, and you get the idea.

Not fair. Rush Limbaugh should approach liberals the way this label approaches wine snobs.


  • Michael White says:

    The business world could benefit from a sense of humor. One disappointing corporate example after another leaves us without much reason to smile, let alone laugh. We have started a label company that seeks to lighten things up. In fact, our “Lighten Up!” line of printed packaging labels is designed to do just that. Why say “FRAGILE” when “LOVE ME TENDER – Handle With Care” says so much more? If you needed to send that package yesterday, don’t say “HOT RUSH” – tell it like it is with a much more honest “DELIVER YESTERDAY! – Hot Rush!” And, why tip-toe around legal responsibility with “INSPECT BEFORE ACCEPTING” when you really mean “IF IT’S BROKEN, YOU OWN IT! – Do Not Accept If Damaged”. Let’s bring a smile to this overly serious world of business. Fun people unite – spread levity everywhere!

  • A. Karno says:

    FUN topic! And let’s not forget Shmaltz Brewing company that brought you He-brew the Chosen Beer and Utah’s own, Polygamy Beer with the tag “Bring some home for your wives!”
    Danny’s Real Soda should get a nod here for being the first to
    really get traction with clever labels, more than a down-dummer, Danny entertain and keeps it political. I like concept Virgin Vines’ reverse snobbery, but I think it’s a tad wordy. Check out the
    simple beauty of this:
    Leninade.- Real Soda’s pink lemonade with red labels images of Vladimir Lenin & the Communist hammer and sickle, with a yellow star on the pop top. Slogans incude “Get Hammered & Sickled”, “A Taste Worth Standing in Line For”, “With Georgia On My Mind,” “Drink Comrade! Drink! It’s This or the Gulag!”

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