Blog: Chris Brook-CarterThe richness of language

Chris Brook-Carter | 24 March 2005

I thought I had been working in the drinks industry long enough to develop a sort of immunity to the pyshco-babble that marketers feel the need dish out on press releases.

It’s usually a simple process, read the press release, delete all the rubbish, take out the couple of paragraphs that are relevant and make a call or two to finish off the story.

But this week even I was amazed by two releases that claimed to be informing the trade of important business developments but whose language would not have been out of place in a Mills and Boon novel.

The first came from a leading brewer announcing what it claimed was one of the biggest international beer launches ever. So far, so interesting.

However, rather than then inform the trade press of spend, strategy and goals we were subjected to a stream of adjectives that rose the bar to new levels in terms of the marketers ability to spout absolute rubbish. Just for a taster, this brand will apparently “break existing beer paradigms,” while its design “exudes modernity, sophistication, and creativity” with packaging that “exudes all the passion and excitement wrapped up in Brasil.”

So imagine my surprise when that particular release was topped yesterday. This time the event was a major wine launch in the US. I won’t comment, but merely quote some of the lines from this jaw-dropping release.

“It [the brand] offers two varietals - a Sauvignon Blanc as crisp and fresh as a white linen sail and a Pinot Noir as silky as a spinnaker.”

It continues with a genius quote from the winemaker: “This region of Marlborough is a great place to sail a boat but a hard place to work a vineyard, with low yields of supremely intense fruit,” he said. “But winemaking can be a lot like sailing - if you grind hard enough the rewards are great.”

Now I like to grind as much as the next man, but you have to wonder who this press release was really aimed at.


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