Storytelling in the last Tavernello commercial

This text can be seen as a brief comment to Pietro Stara´s blog post (Tavernello. The latest TV commercial) on the last commercial spot of the bestselling Italian wine brand Tavernello.

By Sara Emilia Nässén, Yasuko Kamimura, Milena Cristina Martinez Jara, Alice Mortarotti, Federica Bassi master’s degree students in Wine Culture, Communication & Management at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo.

While Stara in his analysis put the spot in a wider perspective, drawing from theories from semiology, history and philosophy, in this post we simply aim at highlighting some details we found interesting and that could reveal some underlying ideas transmitted through the video. As brand strategist Giles Lury claims: “Stories are illustrative, easily remembered and allow any firm to create stronger emotional bonds with customers.” We want to point out what we consider a few methods used to create this type of bond: First of all, what came to our attention was the black and white setting of the video which transmits an aura of something old, classic and elegant. The deepness of the voice over, in combination with the background music, creates a cinematographic, nearly dramatic effect, playing on emotions. Throughout the video the rhythm is slow, transmitting an idea of something done with a great care for details, a symbol for quality and excellence.
The images are focused on hard working people; dirty hands, wrinkled faces, sending a message of genuinity, authenticity, skills, artisanal work, but at the same time simplicity and a connection with the earth. The people figuring in the spot differ in age and gender, communicating the idea of diversity. This diversity also functions as a way to create identification and recognition for the viewer.
The language used in the movie is highly evocative, with the use of words such as generosity, pride, true, strong, home – reinforcing the connection with family, heritage, history, rootedness and national identity.
An interesting phrase for describing the Tavernello wine is: “il sangue della terra, colore rubino, morbido come il velluto” (the blood of the earth, colored ruby red, soft as velvet). In the phrase, the word blood can be seen as a symbol for the family and rootedness; ruby red, other than being a concrete description of the color, creates a luxurious allure through its reference to the ruby gemstone, and velvet leading to associations of preciousness and high quality. Other interesting expressions of this wine are “quello che ti fa battere il cuore” (what makes yourheart beat) and “forte come l’amore” (strong as love) again as attempts to create a strong emotional association.
The last image of the video, where the Tavernello package finally is presented, appears to summarize the idea communicated throughout the whole spot: the creation of a traditional, personal and artisanal image for a product which in reality is mass produced and highly industrialized. This last image is even misleading in its contrasting nature: the Tavernello TetraPak, an innovation when it arrived on the market, is here placed in a very traditional setting; the glasses are placed on the oak barrels in the wine cellar, signalling a type of wine making that clearly is very distant from the actual one. Good as storytelling and perhaps also efficient – lessgood as a description of the reality of the wine making of the no 1 selling wine brand in Italy.

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