Asinine budget cut
The Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards are a smart branding exercise. But where was the wine this year?
Now in it's 47th year, the annual party for the bright and bushy-tailed in the business of theatre is a popular and, naturally, given the cast of party-goers, a cheerful event. It has also been a brilliant branding exercise for Distell, who picks up the tab for the prize-giving show and the abundance of eats that theatre folk and their ilk require afterwards.
But this year, it seems they forgot that Fleur du Cap is the name of one of their very successful wine brands. Finding an actual glass of wine was one of the problems. Spotting the brand another.
As usual, the gathering (this past Sunday at the Artscape in Cape Town) was pleasant enough, if dull on show content. But rumour has it that the budget was slashed. So not only did the stage set look a little tacky and the sound sounded, well, somewhat lesser than professional (for David Kramer's gig, especially), but it seems they decided to keep the actual product named Fleur du Cap distant from the guests.
Before the show two ridiculous 'cocktails' made from wine (Fleur du Cap?) were served, while finding a glass of the stuff afterwards was a mission, to say the least. (Isn't making something else out of wine - like a 'cocktail' - a kind of sell-out of the real thing?)
Only two of the low-end wines (as well as that terrible 'light' white) were available.
It has been well argued that the theatre crowd and their hangers-on are fertile ground for wine brand building. And, in the past, it has been a clever move to serve them well and copiously. It's called loyalty development and brandbuilding. In years gone by, punters were offered some of the very classy wines in the range. This year, nada.
If the wine was virtually invisible, so too was the branding. In the past, the presenter pedestals carried the logo - as it usually does in these matters. This year the audience was treated to an unbranded see-through (of good and lesser-so legs).
Distell slipped up somewhat on what is usually a good opportunity.
To see the results, go to the website.