personal brands

ABC's "The Bachelor" Days of Wine (if Not Roses) Will Continue

Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2012 07:06 PM

Forget those bi-planes flying around college-football stadiums trailing 50-foot banners that say, "Courtney, Will You Marry Me?" Never has a marriage proposal been better-telegraphed than the one that's to come in the final episode of this season's The Bachelor on ABC tonight.

But throughout all the recent speculation about what Ben Flajnik will or won't do in the season's finale, and what comes after that for him and his tenuosly betrothed, the bachelor has been keeping a nurturing eye on another brand besides ABC's. The "other woman" in this case is the real love of his life: his co-owned vineyard and vino brand, Envolve. That's Flajnik holding the wine bottle, above.

It's no big surprise to discover through celeb magazines that Ben and Courtney's relationship remained on-again, off-again even right up through the taping of tonight's After the Final Rose episode, which will follow the last installment of Flajnik's taped "journey" as the bachelor. And it's also no surprise to discover that Flajnik has taken another step on the self-promotional path trod earlier by so many other protagonists on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

As his tale of love, woe and hot tubs has unfolded on the air over the last few weeks, Flajnik has been hopscotching America promoting Envolve, a Sonoma County brand that he developed along with a couple of pals — and, slyly, rebranding to "Envolve" (from "Evolve") late last year. Flajnik has been stumping for the brand, incuding recently appearing at a supermarket in suburban Rochester Hills, Mich., signing bottles of wine for fans (mostly teen girls and women of their mothers' generation) who snaked through a line by the hundreds.

Flajnik smiled appropriately and sported locks that looked slightly different than his controversial mop during the season, autographing mid-priced bottles of his winery's Epilogue Chardonnay and other varieties.

But what really showed Flajnik's flair for brand marketing was a poster he and his entourage distributed at the Michigan appearance and, presumably, elsewhere — cleverly tying in his "bachelorness" without actually mentioning the ABC show or its brand.

"Imagine the journey this wine has taken," the Envolve poster says about its chardonnay. "A series of transformative moments ... This bottle is its Epilogue, the grace note at the end of a long growing season." And, ladies, they don't mean the TV season.

Find out how Envolve is wooing fans beyond reality TV (via a wine club) below:

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