Last Updated on 1 March 2017

by Shannon Jones

This weekend I was reminded of the power of a simple, inexpensive and easy marketing tool … the t-shirt.
At last month’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Oregon, we visited Willamette Valley Vineyards. Willamette is the name of Oregon’s main wine region or AVA – American Viticultural Area. And it’s a name that’s often mis-pronounced. As Willamette Valley Vineyards bares the names, they’ve taken it upon themselves to educate the world on it’s pronunciation through a t-shirt they sell and use that says … “It’s Willamette Dammit!” Once you read it, you’ll smile and never pronounce Willamette wrong again.

Willamette Valley Vineyards gave all the wine writers visiting (over 100 in total) t-shirts along with a sample bottle of their delicious Pinot Noir.

Out running errands this weekend, 3,000 miles away from Oregon, I was wearing the t-shirt and it sparked conversation with six people…about the name, the region and the wine. That’s six people newly educated on Oregon wine, the Willamette Valley and Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Imagine this happening with all 100 wine writers, even by just wearing the t-shirt once a month. That’s some great word-of-mouth marketing generated for very little investment. All because of a clever t-shirt.

Another tool for your marketing toolbox.