Stephen Cronk owner of Mirabeau Wine in Provence, is quite a keen social media user. One of the first successful participants in Winestars World, he has 1,871 followers on Twitter and – since this weekend – 6,500 Likes on Facebook. He has also produced 223 Youtube clips on a wide range of subjects – from Louis Jadot’s use of oak, to How to Cellar wine. Most of these have been seen by an average of 30-200 or so Youtube viewers, a typical figure for wine clips on the platform.

Then something extraordinary happened. Video number 223 – a 50-second piece on how to remove the cork from a wine bottle using your shoe rather than a corkscrew –

caught the eye of  This was despite a clip demonstrating precisely the same technique having been posted on Youtube over three years earlier.

Then Cronk’s clip was noticed by Mailonline.
and a few other media outlets. And then everything went crazy. Over a million – yes, a million, people visited the Mirabeau website.
and over 500,000 watched the clip on Youtube.
Quite what lasting effect this flurry of interest will have remains to be seen, but Cronk says that 2,500 people have now also watched his “about Mirabeau” clip, he’s already collected around 700 more Facebook likes and 100 more Twitter followers, and the numbers are still growing. Most importantly, however, Cronk already credited his video efforts for helping him get a listing at UK supermarket chain Waitrose. Maybe other doors will open for him now…

The lesson wannabe Cronks should take on board is that throughout his video-creating efforts, he has never sought to use the clips to directly promote his wines or the brand. They are all intended to be interesting in their own terms and often contain no direct reference to the brand at all. People who watch them are merely invited to visit the website if they want to know more.

Mirabeau is a tiny, family-owned and run operation with a miniscule marketing budget and a video camera of the kind owned by millions. The men and women responsible for promoting globally-famous brands will, I imagine, be reading this story with interest.

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