Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Power of a Simple Drawing

A friend showed up for Art Group with an unexpected bottle of wine, the other day. She'd been browsing at a local World Market, and had run across an irresistible . . . label.

This "happy little fish" spoke to my friend.
"I saw the happy little fish, and just had to try it," she said.

A wine snob might groan and roll his/her eyes at this, but the industry's little secret is that this is the way most of us pick our wines (as well as many other things, actually).

I'll bet this happy little fish has sold a fair amount of wine . . . the first time. After that, depending on whether we liked his wine or not (the Art Group did, by the way!), he either becomes a warning label of a beacon of welcome for returning friends.

But either way, he's a demonstration of the power of a simple drawing.

The wine industry has of course been noticing for some time that pictures of animals on wine labels sell way better than pale, boring images of chateaux surrounded by lots of words most Americans can't pronounce or understand.

"Happy Fish" is also on the back label.
There have been serious studies conducted on this subject. They discovered the shocking truth that dog lovers tend to buy wine with pictures of dogs on the labels, cat lovers tend to buy cat labels, and so on.

It wasn't so much the animal per se, but whether the person could relate to the image on the label. And a lot of wine-buyers seem to relate well to animals.

My friend bought this wine at a time when she was on the brink of a much-anticipated sabbatical, planned as a time when she could travel, relax, and get into better touch with her inner artist/child.

To her, the happy little fish spoke eloquently of anticipated joy and discovery. No wonder she couldn't resist him!

Art does speak. It speaks to us whether we are aware of it or not. It motivates us, moves us to do unanticipated things. It brings forth emotional responses, even when we aren't expecting them.

And since we enjoyed the little fish's wine, we were glad she didn't resist the power of this simple drawing.

I soaked off the labels and scanned them. Thanks, PrimaTerra Wines--for both a topic, and a very nice Pinot Grigio! :-)

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