Thursday 10 September 2015

Can YOU identify wine brands from their YouGov data?

Could you pick out the drinker of a particular branded wine? Could you tell a Blossom Hill drinker from a fan of Echo Falls? And if you think they’re all the same, can you spot the Lafite enthusiast among them?

Along with its polling and social research, YouGov acquires information from the public about brands. You can put any big brand into its BrandIndex search, and find out about how that brand is perceived – and that includes branded wines.

So YouGov has comments from respondents about the most popular wines, and then statistical correlations between those wines and the hobbies, cars, favourite personalities etc of the people who drink them. Here, for instance, is the page for Wolf Blass and its drinkers. The correlations “show those things which are particularly true of this group.” Some are revealing, some entertaining, and some frankly baffling.

And among all of the mass-market wine brands, YouGov has data on one luxury wine brand – Chateau Lafite. So, with obvious giveaways omitted – I mean, which wine’s drinkers do you think match with BMWs and Beluga caviar? – see if you can identify the following brands:

• Blossom Hill
• Echo Falls
• Campo Viejo
• Oyster Bay
• Lambrini
• Lindemans
• McGuigan
• Chateau Lafite

Wine 1
“I can't drink something that sounds like it was invented by girls in the fifth form at a grammar school in Cheshire” says one respondent. And this wine’s drinkers are indeed predominantly young, female and left-of-centre. They follow such creative pursuits as painting, playing an instrument, drawing and photography. But one of them says it’s a “Reasonable price wine very pleasing to the palette”; be wary of the judgments in both taste and art of those who cannot distinguish palette from palate.  Bizarrely, their favourite movie is likely to be either Babe – or Psycho…

Wine 2
“A cracking bit of white for "hand to hand combat" unoffensive, & reasonably priced.” Well, that must narrow it down to those who favour a fight-inducing wine. But if it’s a Monty Python reference, they’ve got the nationality wrong. This wine has a marginally male, older and slightly right-of-centre fanbase, wearing Blue Harbour clothes and Clark’s shoes. They like quizzes, driving and listening to music. Their most positive trait is that they’re good company; their most negative that they’re abrupt. And their favourite sport is Formula 1. Or, presumably, hand-to-hand combat.

Wine 3
“I think this is sweetened tap water with acids and chemicals to recreate wine flavouring, and half the strength of beer. Is there anything more pointless?” Before you conclude that cannot be the view of a fan, bear in mind this wine actually has a sub-zero rank in popularity. The people who do like it describe it as “refreshing” and “youthful”; those who don’t say it’s “tasteless” and “horrific” – but both sides agree on its primary characteristic: “cheap”. Beyonce and Lily Allen top the listening of its drinkers, and they watch Celebrity Big Brother. People who like it are predominantly young and, yes, female. And their most popular activity? Sleeping.

Wine 4
“The drink I would ask for if I were to be hung.” Let’s assume this respondent means “hanged”, and is not bemoaning something entirely different. Although, as the typical drinker is male, with a hobby of using the internet, perhaps he is. He probably also listens to the Beach Boys, reads Auto Express, and works in engineering or R&D. He seems to favour Tommy Hilfiger almost as much as Dunhill. “I used to really like this,” says one respondent, “until I stopped drinking alcohol.” Well, that would stifle your enjoyment of it, yes.

Wine 5
“A nice quality wine but outside of my budget,” says one respondent. “The quality is consistently good…” A considered judgment of a wine whose fans’ most popular hobby is, actually, drinking. These fans are almost equally split between male and female, but are predominantly right wing. They like Scrabble, they use Lloyds Bank, and they are among the remaining followers of the sport of greyhound racing. And they like Peking duck with pancakes. With this wine?

Wine 6
No shortage of positives here. “All varieties lovely taste as not too strong, and at a decent price. Art work not too bad either!” This wine is described by many as “cheap and cheerful” – but that’s by people who dislike it. Its fans are predominantly females, whose favourite celebrities are, unfortunately, Simon Cowell and Alan Carr. Their supermarket is Aldi; and they’re matched with a disturbing diet of baked potato, chocolate milkshakes and doughnuts. “Lovely little wine,” says one consumer. “Very smooth… too smooth… don’t feel it going down.” Given that food, it’s surprising there are no reports of what it feels like coming back up.

Wine 7
“Excellent”. Clearly the farmers and estate agents who favour this brand have little time to waste on lengthy comments.Perhaps they’re too busy playing Monopoly, driving, and listening to ELO. These are long jumpers and superbike racers – these are leaders. But they do shop at Sainsburys…

Wine 8
“Muy bien” says one enthusiast, flexing his languages. This wine clearly appeals to the cleverclogs, who like Clive James and David Frost, who listen to Roxy Music and Aretha Franklin, and work in finance, advertising, marketing, and jobs with initials like PR and IT. OK? They’re irreverent, and independently minded. They like skiing and winter games. They eat dressed crab, cassoulet and baked camembert. And they shop at Waitrose. Of course.

How many could you identify? And did you spot Lafite? The answers are here.


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