Sex appeal was not a factor

Will Hardy Wallace go to Disney World now that he was selected out of 2,000 contestants for a “dream job” with Murphy-Goode Winery in Sonoma?

Announced just minutes ago, Hardy will make $10,000 per month on a six month contract. He will be a social media and blogging brand of sorts. Blogging. Tweeting I’m sure. Facebooking. Writing. Tasting. Smelling. Videoblogging. You name it… and I expect Hardy to be front and center.

And I’m sure he will have an instant cult following of Web 2.0 wine blogging “enthusiasts” (nerds) thanks in part not only to the attention and (over) hype this wine reality TV adventure has achieved, but also because Hardy already runs a successful wine blog called Dirty South Wine.

What, a Georgian in wine country?!

You bet. And it could provide a fresh perspective. We’ll have to see. With the successful opening of Tinyard Hill last weekend at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, I’m beginning to feel like it’s officially a Southern July around these parts.

Steve Heimoff has a beind-the-scenes post on his blog about the selection process and final interviews with the Top 10. I like the tasting room auditions… what has the world come to? Although it’s not easy as it looks. When Loni tried her hand at it recently at Bent Creek Winery in Livermore, she was criticized for holding her wine glass incorrectly (even though I think it was fine… I know, biased). But I digress.

According to the Murphy-Goode press release the contest has generated the equivalent of $7M worth of publicity. Not bad for a $60,000 commitment (plus marketing costs).

Any day now I expect my inbox to fill-up with PRs from copy-cat wineries looking to also capitalize. This is a world-class demonstration of the power of social media and its ability to deliver unheard of ROI when done right.

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear