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The Future of Wine Marketing?

I first reported on the strange phenomenon of wine related manga comics in Japan about a year ago, but it seems they're gaining in popularity. At the time, one of my readers mentioned another, newer comic by the name of "Kami no Shizuku" (literally "god's droplets") which offered commentary and musing on the virtues of French wine. According to some, it's a pretty compelling comic, with particularly thirst generating properties.

Well according to a story in today's news, that comic has been translated to Korean and is a huge hit in South Korea.

Of course, in the extremely litigious and puritanical United States, where Joe Camel has been relegated to a stiff two dimensional silhouette with no personality, there's no way in hell anyone could ever get away making comic books featuring or about wine. Disembowelment and torture, sure. But fine wine? Never.

Nonetheless, I think these folks (are they Japanese? Or a very savvy French wine company?) are really on to something. Every issue of this comic mentions a new wine, and if that wine is available in the country, it immediately sells out!

Despite the somewhat draconian laws about marketing alcohol in this country (at least we are not in France!!) I have to believe that there are some pretty interesting things that might be done to better market wine to a legal-but-younger generation. Not that they need special treatment, mind you, but there's definitely an opportunity there.

Comments (5)

Joe wrote:
04.19.07 at 6:10 PM

I'm betting on a savvy French company. They're on a comeback, Alder!

04.20.07 at 2:07 AM

I'm lucky enough to have my wine mentionned in the first volume of the manga you are talking about. I'm taling about Chateau Mont Perat (bordeaux).

Believe it or not, I didn't do anything to bribe the author, my company isn't big enough. As a matter of fact, it happens that the author (whom I met since) was living right above a wine shop in Tokyo. He was looking for a new idea for a manga and thought he could make money out of a theme japanese people start to realy like.

I have to admit our sales figure did improuve significantly after the publication of the book. Our wine was described by one of the character as a "Fredy Mercury in a bottle", who could say more ? here is an extract:http://www.despagne.fr/act/archives/25-Orient-express.html

After all is the impact of this manga any different from the movie Sideways ?

nailcolor wrote:
04.22.07 at 8:19 PM

Dear Alder:
this comic had also been translated to Madarin and cause the same affect here in Taiwan,with my study background in Japan,I know that they have serious comic in any field (even serious comic on gourmet food,such as Sushi or patissery..... )and there was actually some wine comic before this one(called Sommelier) and had been turn to a TV drama....now you know how Japanese wine lover have such high level of wine knowledge!!

Melinda wrote:
04.22.07 at 9:37 PM

Oh, yeah. Sometimes my Japanese teacher brings in excerpts from wine manga to encourage me to study...It's great because it kinda kills 2 birds with one stone, although a lot of the info in the manga that I've seen is pretty basic (with regard to wine, not Japanese).

I sometimes pick up a food manga called Oishinbo, too. It's pretty fun. Check it out if you get a chance!

Jill wrote:
04.24.07 at 9:05 PM

We're not using comic books, but we are using a manga-like aesthetic for our informational site (as well as store and club). We only hope you're right about the effectiveness of this type of approach. Photographs of vineyards and bunches of grapes are certainly pretty, but they don't necessarily speak to people of a certain generation the same way graphic narratives do.

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