Is CCC still going strong after decades?

Is Crystal Head Vodka an attention-grabbing gimmick? COCA-Cola, with its bright corkscrew ads, leans into the quirkiness. Budweiser seems to be the only soft drink brand to have avoided this liability. Peach D’Artagnan has…

Is CCC still going strong after decades?

Is Crystal Head Vodka an attention-grabbing gimmick? COCA-Cola, with its bright corkscrew ads, leans into the quirkiness. Budweiser seems to be the only soft drink brand to have avoided this liability.

Peach D’Artagnan has been falling in and out of favor with shoppers for years. The buttery wine serves a nice amount of alcohol that feels more like a wine than whiskey. Fans admit to liking it, but consider it as a palate cleanser.

For its 20th anniversary, the big cheese at the New York-based (patented in France) French wine company engaged a marketing agency to come up with a campaign for the upgraded product. Creative solutions included an anthropomorphic double neck bathtub the company fashioned out of glass.

The tubs have been spotted in New York, L.A., Chicago, and, natch, my home town. Last month, I saw one in San Francisco.

Tub memes are a Reddit subcategory called “cafes,” full of all manner of weird and useless objects, like a Bud Light keg for a keg stand, a Twin Peaks radio antenna for a crystal wine cooler, a grilled cheese board for an Italian sandwich, a Royal I trolley for a tower of Italian ice cream, a Joey Votto World Series jersey for a curry milkshake, a Justin Bieber World Series jersey for a grilled cheese toast. (In the beer category, there’s a Jack’s Apizza bagel toasted with bacon, a Funky Monkey beef jerky bagel, a Sheppard Seeds chocolate milk toasted with bacon, and a pigskin made of dehydrated corn. What’s the significance of all these product names?)

Here’s the promotion for the idea of the colorful, pink tubs (the brand is coming out with a line of blue, too):

This grand idea led to a splashy Super Bowl ad and a website, teampubzincara.com, that offers pretty tasting cans to bring you home. On the site’s final page, there is a gallery of images. (The products range from $18 to $25.)

Perhaps in a last-ditch effort to bring heat to a frozen brand, Crystal Head was building brick ovens at one of its Mountain View, Calif., breweries. You can see the ovens at Amazon.com.

The irony is that while caché may matter to a certain pool of society’s ilk, the spendy wine remains a niche product with few takers at the supermarket checkout. According to 2017 data from Nielsen, Crystal Head takes 3.4 percent of sales in the category: $30.95 million. No other brand does better. A bottle of red cherry, Riesling, or Merlot costs an average of $32 at a grocery store.

Has this advertising been a mistake? Maybe, maybe not. Triptych, a wine brand in Germany, painted barns as an ad gimmick back in 2012.

Maybe, maybe not. But there’s nothing wrong with a little gimmickry.

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