October 28, 2014
LVMH-owned Champagne brand Veuve Clicquot is showing the versatility of its beverage by looking beyond celebrations commonly associated with the bubbly spirit.
The Champagne brand has teamed with Austin-based event planners Camille Styles to show that Veuve Clicquot can be included in any celebration, even Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead festivities Nov. 1-2. Champagne makers often work to showcase that the spirit can be incorporated into all types of celebrations and is not just reserved for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.
"The Dia De Los Muertos campaign works to establish a lifestyle tie around Veuve Clicquot," said Shamin Abas, president of Shamin Abas Public Relations, New York. "Rather than positioning the champagne as a beverage to be consumed on special occasions, such as New Years and Valentine’s Day, Veuve Clicquot has tapped into a holiday predominantly centered on honoring familial relationships; aligning their champagne with the value of family and the emotional connection felt between loved ones.
"Therefore, the campaign works to make a natural connection between family gatherings and the presence of Veuve Clicquot," she said. "In addition, by reappropriating El Dia De Los Muertos in a do-it-yourself celebration amongst friends, using young, fashionable, Internet-savvy women as their archetypal consumer, Veuve Clicquot is appealing to younger, yet still cultured and viable audience.
"The brand is showing that their champagne isn’t only for cocktail parties attended by older affluent individuals, but can be enjoyed in simple gatherings on a day-to-day basis as well. By making Veuve Clicquot a go-to beverage for more informal gatherings between family and friends, the brand is diminishing the connotation that champagne should be saved only for special occasions, encouraging more regular purchases, and ultimately prompting sales."
Ms. Abas is not affiliated with Veuve Clicquot, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Veuve Clicquot did not respond by press deadline.
Any reason to party
Traditionally celebrated in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is observed around the world. The holiday, which directly follows Halloween Oct. 31, is a gathering of family and friends to pay respect and to remember loved ones who have died.
On its Twitter accounts, Veuve Clicquot shared with followers its #ClicquotDia events as part of its #Yelloween initiative. Throughout the week leading up to Dia de los Muertos, Veuve Clicquot will host events in California, Florida, New York, Texas, Illinois and Washington.
Veuve Clicquot tweet for a New York events on Oct. 31
For consumers unable to attend a Veuve Clicquot branded event, the Champagne brand worked with Camille Styles for party planning tips and ideas to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. By selecting a seasonal holiday that may not have been on the radar of affluent consumers, Veuve Clicquot is showing how any occasion is the right fit for its Champagne.
"Whenever a brand is positioned in a larger lifestyle context, it promotes consumer identification and establishes an audience connection to the product at hand," Ms. Abas said. "Veuve Clicquot most likely chose to partner with Camille Styles as they consider her an influencer amongst their target audience, and are hoping that the content she created will encourage her followers to participate in similar activities involving their brand.
"Readers might look through her posts and think along the lines of “That looks like fun, I should do that,” and subsequently go out and purchase Veuve Clicquot for a gathering of their own," she said. "Through explaining her decision to team up with Veuve Clicquot based on the 'shared focus on bringing together family and friends,' Camille is playing into the value of family that the brand is hoping to establish with their tie to El Dia De Los Muertos.
"Additionally, through positioning her Dia De Los Muertos event as an 'excuse to throw a party,' Camille is perpetuating the idea that Veuve Clicquot shouldn’t only be saved for special occasions but can be enjoyed at less formal festivities and social gatherings as well."
This content was shared on Veuve Clicquot’s Facebook where it noted “colorful decor tutorials, downloadable invitations and tips on how to perfectly ‘pop’ your bottle.” Content housed on Camille Styles’ Web site blog will likely introduce the Champagne to a new audience, who may not have selected the beverage for a Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Veuve Clicquot tablesetting for Dia de los Muertos
Formatted as a gallery, consumers can scroll through the 22 slides to learn about the colorful celebration one can plan for Dia de los Muertos.
Ideas include downloadable invitations designed by Jenn Rose, how to place Champagne bottles in wide-mouth bucket and served in mismatched flutes, a tutorial for a carnation garland and how decor colors should compliment Veuve Clicquot’s marigold label. Additional recommendations include culinary ideas such as traditional Mexican posole soup, a posole toppings bar, a mango, jicama and avocado salad and skull-shaped macarons.
Other pages are dedicated to tips on how to properly open a Champagne bottle, explaining that a “kiss” should be heard rather than a loud pop when the cork is undone. Champagne is a fitting beverage for a Dia de los Muertos celebration because many celebrants offer alcohol to their ancestors -- so a Veuve Clicquot toast is very fitting.
Camille Styles' tips for opening Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Another decor idea includes setting up an altar that serves to remember deceased family members and celebrate loved ones still on earth to preserve a family connection. These altars are decorated with candles, fresh flowers, personal items, sugar skulls and statues.
Camille Styles also features a craft, a skull cascarones made of drained egg shells wrapped in paper and stuffed with confetti. The paper skulls are then cracked on loved ones’ heads as part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Veuve Clicquot and other Champagne makers often work to position the beverage as a celebratory drink that can be enjoyed for various times throughout the year, for reasons big and small.
For example, LVMH-owned Champagne maker Moët & Chandon welcomed social media followers to participate in a summer-long photo contest.
Each month the theme changed, but the underlying tone was represented by the hashtag #IceChallenge. Since participants could upload their image on any social media platform and tag the brand and the contest, Moët & Chandon likely reached a wide range of its consumers (see story).
Also, Champagne brand Dom Pérignon collaborated with designer Iris van Herpen at New York Fashion Week to celebrate the metamorphosis of the brand’s Vintage 2004 Champagne.
The project was inspired by fossils and the organic metamorphosis, evoking the nature that inspires Dom Pérignon. By being present at Fashion Week Dom Pérignon is aligning with top names in fashion (see story).
Seasonality and an interesting take on party planning may interest affluent consumers looking for a cause to host a soiree.
"Most affluent consumers are well educated and knowledgeable of worldly affairs and thus might be drawn to the campaign since it sheds light on a tradition that might differ from their own," Ms. Abas said. "Affluent consumers additionally seek experiences that aren’t easily attainable, so while Halloween is a holiday celebrated by the masses in the United States, the idea of a Dia De Los Muertos celebration may seem more 'special' and tie into their desire for exclusivity.
"Affluent consumers additionally have the means to purchase Veuve Cliquot without needing a special occasion, so the 'excuse to throw a party,' angle might appeal to them as well," she said. "Rather than being attracted to the seasonality of the campaign, affluent consumers will most likely be attracted to the idea that purchasing Veuve Cliquot, regardless of the occasion, gives you a reason to celebrate rather than needing a reason to celebrate before purchasing Veuve Cliquot.
"What will be interesting is to see how the Mexican and Latin American community respond to a marketing campaign based on a cultural tradition that to them, is rather sacred."
Jen King, lead reporter on Luxury Daily, New York