Monday, April 27, 2009

Getting Paid to Party

Here's an amazing marketing move to get people to eat more cheese -- according to today's Wall Street Journal -- 1,000 American homes will hold wine-and-cheese parties on June 4, courtesy of the French government.

Which leads me to say ... what the hell?

Apparently the French government is fearing the country's highbrow food traditions have "alienated the average consumer." So, in an attempt to boost sales of wine and cheese -- France's most lucrative exports -- it is promoting a world-wide "aperitif" -- the moment before dinner when the French kick back with a glass of wine and finger food.

The French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, along with a bunch of French wine and cheese producers, is going to spend $2.1 million to sponsor cocktail parties in 19 countries across the world, including the United States.  More than 14,000 Americans have already signed up to host a party, but only 1,000 lucky few will get chosen. Those chosen will receive coupons offering 15 percent discounts on certain French wines and a free gift when they order French cheeses on specific websites. They'll also get a hamper of French-themed party gear, including a CD featuring pop singer Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In return for the gifts, hosts must hold a party, take photos, and blog before and after, all in an effort to create a buzz about French wine and food. Afterward, they have to answer a questionnaire about how they like the products they tasted. French wine and cheese producers plan to follow up with a series of special promotions of French goods at local shops and supermarkets.

Actually, the more I think about this, the more brilliant this appears. Who doesn't want to get paid to throw a party?  There's got to be a way to apply this to Wisconsin cheeses somehow ... anyone want to sponsor 1,000 Wisconsin wine and cheese parties during June Dairy Month?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Genius idea. One, it probably subsidizes only portion of the total purchase of French products. So, the host will purchase the remaining balance and thus help the French move more product. Two, it helps establish a connection with the consumer base and creates additional intangible value, the greatest kind of value for your money. Third, they are actually using this to get information on the types of purchases its customers make. Brilliant! The French have done it again.

itsnotyou said...

I'd just like to know who was in charge of letting us know they'd sponsor our cheese parties. I missed the memo.

Lo said...

Mmm. Cheese parties.
I'd totally support this idea :)

Madame Fromage said...

Ooooo, yes, we should do a Wisconsin version. Let the French have their brie and duck fat. I would love to host a party of Wisconsin blue cheeses out here in Philly. Let's get the cheese ball rolling!

sutros said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy