On Wednesday, Don Sebastiani & Sons announced the first winery video podcast. They've been clever about distributing it, and managed to get it placed on iTunes , where it can get broad exposure. Unlike YouTube or Google Video, access to iTunes distribution is limited (iTunes distributes video as well as audio, in case you aren't part of the iPod generation).
Will a video podcast increase sales of Sebastiani brands? Dunno. The first episode (3 minutes, 44 seconds) is a little stilted, but the information content is high. Their choice of iTunes as a distribution mechanism (as opposed to, say, Flash video on Google or YouTube) may limit the distribution of the video itself, but it's aimed squarely at the people DS&S is trying to attract with their general marketing style (people with video iPods and the associated disposable income).
Another smart thing: they're already mentioning Episode 2, which creates interest (and subtly encourages viewers to subscribe, which is a feature of iTunes).
What I admire about Don Sebastiani & Sons is that they actively experiment with new marketing ideas. Sure, they're big enough to have the resources to throw at those experiments, and they must have somebody in the organization who has a passion for marketing, but most important is their willingness to try new stuff, whether it's wacky brand names like Screw Kappa Napa, or podcasting.
Go watch the video (even if you have to download iTunes+Quicktime - it's pretty painless and the process will make you a more informed wine marketer), and then think about what you can do to set your fermented-grape-juice-in-a-bottle apart from all the rest (yes, I know it tastes better, but everyone makes that claim).
If you want better results for your winery, try something (radically) new. A new picture of your vineyard on the home page of your Web site probably isn't enough. Talk to wine.woot! or RadCru. Make a video. Write a blog. Hell, go crazy and start a monthly e-mail newsletter.
The key is to try something new. As Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results."
Update: The production values of the Sebastiani video are very high, which is a requirement if you want to get iTunes distribution. Apple wants great looking video to show off the iPod.
Saturday musing: does Augie Sebastiani *really* wear his hat backwards? In a restaurant?