Actress and director Courteney Cox knows a thing or two about aging gracefully. The celebrated actor and producer also has a long association with wine, from her real-life penchant for Rioja to her portrayal of the wine-loving Jules in Cougar Town. Now, the Emmy nominee and Screen Actors Guild Award winner is partnering with California’s Clos du Bois to direct the brand’s Long Live campaign, which highlights the confidence, energy and wisdom that come with age to make older wine consumers feel authentically represented. “No matter what age, you can still be young at heart, and we should always embrace that part of ourselves,” said Cox in a statement.
According to Cox and Clos du Bois, younger people are over-represented in alcohol advertisements. And when older drinkers are featured, they’re often portrayed as, well, old: “boring, stuffy, uninspired, unadventurous,” as one of the campaign videos cheekily puts it. Older consumers are aware of the stereotyped ways the alcohol industry often sees them. In a recent survey conducted by Clos du Bois, “only 37 percent of people who are 55 and older agree that their age group is authentically represented within alcohol advertising.”
Chardonnay drinkers, in particular, are often seen as old-fashioned. “Many see Chardonnay as a wine primarily enjoyed by an older generation, and there are associations that come with that,” said Clos du Bois senior marketing director Courtney O’Brien. Those “associations” aren’t always positive. Even within the wine industry, older Chardonnay drinkers—who drove demand for the big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays that once dominated the market—might be seen as out of touch by those younger consumers and wine professionals who prefer leaner, less heavily oaked versions.
Cox and Clos du Bois want to shift the narrative and show that older wine drinkers can be just as spunky as the rest of us. The Long Live campaign involves people over 50, both in front of and behind the camera, to show the confidence, wisdom and thirst for adventure (and good wine) that older consumers bring to the table. One campaign video shows elegant, hip older people playing air guitar, dancing with abandon, roller skating, posing nude for a portrait and—of course—drinking wine. “It feels fresh, energetic and fun, and I think that we succeeded in bringing the spirit of the campaign to life,” said Cox.
Rolling out a marketing push specifically targeting older wine drinkers might seem strange in an industry that struggles to reach younger audiences. But by showing what they consider a truer, more positive side of older drinkers, Cox and Clos du Bois hope to maintain and grow the brand enthusiasm of an already loyal fan base.
More important, they hope to change the conversation around Chardonnay and the people who drink it. The campaign’s central idea is that Chardonnay, and wine in general, is “for people who know what it’s like to live a little”—and we can all agree that merits a wicked air guitar riff.
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