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Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm
Franklin Lakes, NJ
From the Wall Street Journal:
At the Play Room nightclub near Piccadilly Circus last month, a group whose members identified themselves as "chavs" -- a boorish, materialistic subculture in Britain -- quaffed Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut champagne, which costs £85 ($160) a bottle at the club.
They declined to give their names, but the identities of their favorite brands were no secret. One member dropped his watch, which he claimed was a Rolex, into a flute of rosé. "Still ticking," he said, draining his glass.
Champagne drinking is taking on a new face -- and some analysts are worried it may turn off traditional buyers of bubbly.
In their quest to increase revenues, big champagne brands such as Moët & Chandon, Lanson and Laurent-Perrier have been marketing to a younger set of consumers, including soccer fans, rappers and hip-hop devotees. Along the way, however, the drink has become popular with crowds that are less appealing to champagne makers. Among them are British "chavs."
Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as young people characterized by "brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of designer-style clothes ... usually with connotations of a low social status," chavs have recently developed a penchant for what they call "chavpagne," which they regularly swig at parties and nightclubs.
The chav phenomenon started in the United Kingdom about two years ago, and is gaining attention in the U.S. Two British teenage girls' video guide to being a chav has become a hit on the Web site YouTube.com, "with Americans particularly keen to know more about chav culture," according to the British newspaper the Daily Mail.
A subscriber only site: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB1 ... 38844.html
Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm
What a nasty snobbish item.
So champagne houses don't want consumers of a "low social status" because they might put off their target audience of pillars of society including "soccer fans, rappers and hip-hop devotees"?
Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:39 am
The analysts may be right. It's not hard to turn off typical "traditional" beverage buyers. In the early 1950s Miller beer advertising went in the opposite direction, advertising their brew as "The Champagne of Beers" and featuring models wearing evening clothes and, no kidding, one even wearing a monocle, and all sipping Millers out of Champagne flutes. Of course beer sales then as now depended on Joe Sixpack, and after taking one look at the new Millers ads Joe decided to buy somebody else's beer. The advertising campaign was a disaster for Millers.
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