Majestic Wine has been one of retail’s success stories of late and its first TV ad campaign launched last week helps to show why.

The ads use humour to create a personality and deflate wine’s pretentious image

The two 30-second ads use a style similar to the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, with the internal monologue of clueless customers providing laughs as well as making the point that you don’t need to know anything about wine to shop here.

The ads show Majestic doesn’t take itself too seriously and they mark it out as different. Staff are portrayed as friendly and knowledgeable without being pushy, free tastings are featured, prices are highlighted as reasonable, and they achieve something many retail adverts don’t: they’re not cheesy or annoying.

It can be daunting for specialists to square up to the grocers, and alcohol is certainly a category Tesco et al have made their mark on. But Majestic is cleverly marking out territory that the grocers can’t enter by emphasising service, in-depth knowledge, and by creating a personality for its stores.

The shoppers in the ads are unsure of their footing when it comes to choosing decent wine but are, like many customers, sure of what they like. Wine tasting and knowledge is often tainted with pretention, and Majestic makes an effort to crush that particular image. By approaching it with humour Majestic informs without intimidating, and this position reflects its overall strategy and shows why the retailer is gaining in popularity.

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