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A wave of gimmicks

GIMMICKS have long been an important sales aid, but for the tradition-steeped wine industry they are a relatively new concept – creeping in as producers jostle for consumer attention.

The Madfish range produced by Howard Park Wines has always had a marketing edge, right through to its sea turtle label design.

Now the brand’s marketers have stumbled on a sales aid that would attract attention in just about anyone’s liquor store.

Proprietor Jeff Burch, a veteran surfer who has shifted Howard Park’s headquarters to his beloved Margaret River, decided it was time to splash the Madfish design on a few malibu boards.

Ordering a handful from a South West boardmaker, Mr Burch sent one of the first as a gift to a businessman in California who deals with Madfish.

“They asked how they could buy more of them,” he said.

“They put it on display and people kept asking where they could get it.”

With only 20 originals, there might be a few busy boardmakers in Margaret River.

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