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KB_age_02American champagne. It isn’t exactly part of the branding lexicon like Greek yogurt or French baguettes. If Korbel’s new brand positioning is successful, American champagne will be a premium product and common phrase.

Champagne is of course French. Korbel, has been touting its California roots for some time now, and was actually started by the Heck family 131 years ago. With the past Fourth of July holiday, the brand’s positioning as an American icon became more aggressive as it urged consumers to associate it with hot dogs, picnics and all things festive. According to Margie Healy, 
Vice President, Communications, the brand is capitalizing on its presence at “monumental” American celebrations throughout the years.

Korbel has been the bubbly chosen to celebrate many of this generation’s greatest events, including locker room celebrations, political events, and celebrity gatherings,” she says “Korbel also has a long relationship with American politics, beginning with a case of Korbel Sec that was shipped to President Roosevelt toasting the repeal of Prohibition. In addition, Korbel was prominent during the Camelot years of the White House and has been served at the past eight Presidential inaugural celebrations.”

It is not the first time Korbel has claimed its domestic branding. It signed Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Jane Seymour, among others to its artist bottle design campaign. And, when the cast of “Mash” taped its final episode Korbel was poured in celebration, marking the end of a television era. It has also played in the sports marketing arena. In 2012 it sponsored the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. For the first time in tournament history, Korbel will host a $250,000 Hole-in-One contest in addition to seasoned features like the “Celebrity Spray-Off,” which encouraged players to show off their champagne-spraying skills.

The Brown-Forman brand has also ramped up its digital marketing year-to-date. Its website stresses recipes and experiences with the “Toast Life” tagline and it has also worked its “part of celebrations large and small for more than 130 years.” It has an active social network presence, a new iPhone app and in The Korbel Girl’s Getaway. Women were encouraged to submit a toast about their friendships explaining why their group of friends should be chosen to with the ultimate girls getaway to the Korbel Winery in Sonoma County, Calif. The social media pages and website hosted toasts, photos and other content The best “Girlfriend Toast” winner and her five friends will won a trip to the Korbel Winery for the ultimate girl’s wine country getaway complete with airfare and accommodations for four days of VIP treatment including a vineyard and winery tour, meals prepared by the winery’s private chef and poolside spa treatments.




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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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