Steve Bollinger, SVP Marketing
Maria Melo-Boone, VP Marketing, Domestic Wines
Andres Rios, Marketing Director, Lifestyle Wines
Jack Bensimon, President
Joseph Bonnici, Creative Director
Hayes Steinberg, Associate Creative Director
Chris Harrison, Associate Creative Director
Zeeshan Hussain, Group Account Director
Sara Myers, Business Lead
Michelle Pilling, Director of Production Services
Amanda Alvaro, Managing Director, Narrative PR (A Division of Bensimon Byrne)
Laura Serra, Account Supervisor, Narrative PR (A Division of Bensimon Byrne)
|Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):||March 2012 – July 2014|
|Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: ||November 2011|
|Base Period as a Benchmark: ||March 2011 – February 2012|
In early 2011 when Bensimon Byrne first began to work with Constellation Brands, the wine category in Canada was healthy and growing. So for Jackson-Triggs (JT), a well known, dominant player in Ontario and BC, business should have been booming. Instead, the brand overall was in trouble, and its base SKU (Proprietors’ Selection), which represented almost 80% of the volume, was in a steep decline.
“I have no clue what to buy”
In the previous few years, the wine category was undergoing a paradigm shift, becoming highly fragmented and intensely competitive with little brand loyalty from Canadian drinkers. Getting picked in the first place is an enormous feat and developing a consistently loyal following is even more difficult. The category growth was fuelled by hundreds of new brands with bright, playful labels and names like Cupcake, Ménage à Trois and Girls Night Out.
Relative to these new choices, the JT wines appeared comparatively stale and uninspired. In a category where novelty had become the new currency, the JT brand and its heritage had little meaning for consumers. By 2008 JT lost its ranking as #1 national wine brand.
Over the next few years the brand spiraled down, unable to retain its loyal wine drinkers nor attract new consumers to the brand. Nationally, JT volume reached its lowest level in August 2011.
Our first challenge was to not only stop the bleeding but to make JT relevant to our core target again and gain its fair share of market. We overwhelming achieved that result with the launch of the new platform that got Canadian wine drinkers to consider the brand again and pick up a bottle (or two) of JT. We even got a CASSIES Bronze in 2013 in spite of alcohol beverage giant competition like Budweiser.
The new mission starting in Summer 2013 was to not only sustain that success but also outperform it, and keep JT’s leadership role within the wine category.
Overall business objective was single-minded – drive growth by repositioning the entire brand, from packaging to advertising to reinvigorate interest in JT.
There were 3 specific business goals set to measure success:
- Increase case volume sales
- Increase purchase intent amongst drinkers (loyal and new)
- Strengthen brand equity
Annual Media Budget
Year 1 (Nov ’11 to Nov ’12) - $2.6 million
Year 2 (Nov ’12 to May ’13) - $1.5 million
Year 3 (Oct ’13 – Dec ’14) - $1.5 million
National - English Canada
$500,000 - $1 million
In order to turnaround a brand with these kinds of challenges, we first conducted a Brand Audit that revealed the communication in the wine category almost always focuses on the varietal, the appellation, or food pairings. Reviews and tasting notes are everywhere from wine blogs to mobile apps to retail signage. Visually, the advertising usually incorporates a beautiful vineyard shot, generic product photography and cliché drinking occasions.
“What wine was that again?”
We then conducted research that revealed JT users describing themselves as being down-to-earth and straightforward with an aversion to pretense. This helped unlock the important insight that the real target for the brand were “Wine Drinkers” who don’t over think wine purchases, and not “Wine Lovers” who tend to respond to stories about the terroir, the vintage, the characteristics of liquid etc. Their enjoyment of wine was driven by the belief that wine made occasions a little more special and meaningful.
This led us to the second insight; that the solution for this brand was not inside the bottle. For JT to truly resonate with the actual target consumer, we didn’t need to spend time talking about the wine itself. Brand bonding should be more casual and emotional to trigger associations with wine drinking occasions. We needed to establish JT as the relevant wine lifestyle brand, with an idea that was relevant to their relationship to the category and their self-perception.
With these insights we knew we had to overhaul all the brand imagery to really get Canadian wine drinkers to pay attention to JT again.
“We’ve got a wine for that.”
In order to move from a rational, expected approach to a more emotional space, we crafted an idea to connect JT to the feelings and emotions that make any experience more special. Instead of focusing on the clichéd drinking occasions of typical wine advertising, we focused on feelings and emotions, and associated them with a far wider range of wine drinking moments. We wanted to communicate that no matter what mood you’re in or feeling you’re going for, “We’ve got a wine for that.”
This also provided implicit support for a key product attribute – the large number of varietals, size and packaging formats the brand offers. It truly supported the versatility and broad number of varietals that the brand could offer to drinkers. The power and extendibility of the platform was really proven in the third year with new creative executions with insights from ongoing ad tracking and brand health reports.
We set a single communication objective for the re-launch; to create awareness of JT’s’ new positioning in order to drive up purchase intent.
In a crowded category, we would need to find ways to maximize our modest media budget as much as possible. It would be key to find some media selections that were atypical of wine advertisers to really help us break through and become top of mind. We would also need to leverage our PR team to help solidify JT as a lifestyle brand and to gain additional exposure via earned media opportunities.
Developing a newly baked creative idea also gave us an opportunity to rethink the media strategy with the goal of making JT standout and reinforce its new brand positioning. That required a fresh take on category advertising and a resulting plan that bucked traditional category media planning conventions.
So we launched on TV – which may seem entirely traditional but was brand new for this category – who typically spent media budgets on glossy magazine ads and OOH, instead of utilizing the emotional connection of TV. To maximize a modest media budget, sponsorships with specialty channels along with digital pre-roll ads on conventional networks helped push the message out. A full year national plan incorporated a blend of 30 sec and 15 sec cut-downs to ensure there was strong continual presence throughout the year.
Print ads, a newly redesigned corporate website, and social media properties were all utilized to reflect the new brand imagery.
The other innovative media approach was convincing the client that a disproportionate amount of the media buy should be put into earned, not paid. While competitive brands were almost solely focused on reaching the wine writer, we wanted to focus our PR efforts to a broader audience and turn the wine brand into a lifestyle brand by using lifestyle media to tell our story – through morning shows, influencer magazines and events.
To bring “We’ve got a wine for that” (WGAWFT) to life visually and solidify JT as a lifestyle brand, we did something that you typically don’t see in the wine category. We minimized the role of the liquid. There were no gratuitous pour shots or prominently placed product throughout. Creative focused instead on those small, real moments we all have each and every day that can be transformed into special moments with a glass of JT.
Two spots were created for the first year of the campaign; each spot set out to expand the target’s definition of wine-drinking occasions to go beyond the typical weddings, parties and fancy dinners.
The spots were thematically tied to a common yet unexpected object that is part of our everyday lives. Using those everyday objects to ground each scenario, we captured relatable moments that evoked a real sense of emotion.
Our first spot (“Lights”) launched in November 2011 and our second spot “Shoes” was introduced in April 2012 as part of our spring campaign.
"Lights" TV - 30 sec & 15 sec cut down
"Shoes" TV - 30 sec & 15 sec cut down
Our traditional TV spots were supported by various sponsorships on specialty stations that allowed us to extend our “we’ve got a wine for that” message in a contextually relevant way.
A full-page magazine ad ran simultaneous to our first TV spot during the 2011/12 holiday campaign. Like the TV, the ads portrayed a mood or feeling that is associated to an occasion and was atypical in that it did not show cliché occasions, vineyard images - or even consumption.
"Socks" Launch Print Ad
We introduced our second print ad in the spring of 2012 – again visually showing an evocative moment that was atypical, more casual and idiosyncratic.
"Shopping" Print Ad
The JT website was revamped to reflect the new brand repositioning and provide a more effortless, approachable user experience. The TV spots were also formatted for online pre-roll to further support the campaign.
PR & Social Media
For our holiday launch, we connected with lifestyle media versus traditional wine media by positioning JT as a lifestyle product. Media kits were sent out with duality-inspired gift card neck tags that were fun, eye-catching and even relevant to a lifestyle editor’s work. Because editors get an overwhelming number of products during the holidays, it was important for us to stand out in a relevant way. The campaign’s success included coverage in the highly sought after Globe and Mail gift guide.
Our spring campaign stemmed from the season being an iconic moment for Canadians, and the feelings it naturally evokes: open toed shoes re-emerge, the flowerpots and garden tools are unwrapped and lastly, the flowers are finally in bloom. This led to the idea of Spring Bloom with a focus on flowers, herbs, gardening and shoes.
First we tapped into inspiration from the JT vineyard garden with the creation of four unique flower & herb-infused white wine cocktails featuring different varietals. We differentiated ourselves by creating a series of stunning photographs that could be used for a variety of different platforms from general lifestyle to gardening media to cocktail media as well as charming 20 sec videos that showed beautifully styled cocktails ‘growing’ in a garden followed by the recipe. Both the photos and videos were shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, and Pinterest.
An attention-grabbing media release was put on the wire and sent to a list of key lifestyle, cocktail and food writers. Media calls followed the release and an intimate cocktail tasting party was created for select media. The biggest hit was the media kits that were sent out to lifestyle media. A beautiful growing herb garden filled with herbs found in each cocktail, along with the wine, was sent out so that the drinks could be made at home.
The campaign was a huge success with over 15 stories and notable coverage including The Huffington Post, Sympatico.ca, a morning segment on Canada AM, and The National Post.
Herb Garden Media Kit
Animated Cocktail Videos
To support the spring campaign on Facebook, we launched two simple enter-to-win contests starting with the Spring Kick Off shoe shopping spree, awarding the winner $1000 towards new shoes. Messaging focused on how a change of shoes can change your outfit and your mood. The contest ran from April 25 to May 9, 2012 acquiring 6,590 new fans and delivered above expectations across all engagement metrics.
The second contest, A Year In Bloom, connected with consumers’ deep-seeded attraction to fresh flowers - a single bouquet can bring an entire room to life. Thanks to JT, the winner will experience the joy of fresh flowers every week for a year. Running from May 21 – June 10, 2012 the contest acquired 4,568 new fans and had over 39,000 actions from the ads. (Actions can be a Page Like, Page Post Like, Shared Post, Comments, etc.)
Year Two & Three
After validating the existing TV spots to still be effective and the best medium to provide the reach JT was looking for, the decision was made to re-run “Lights” and “Shoes” for year two. We also continued the contextually relevant station sponsorships for the second year, and Social Media played a more integral role in communicating to JT drinkers online.
After a highly effective and strategic two years of the new brand platform, brand equity had rebounded beyond pre-campaign scores and the business heartily growing. We wanted to keep pushing the momentum and looked to optimize the advertising and social media plans.
In 2013 new TV executions were developed in order to surpass updated benchmarks for brand messaging, linkage and relevance. Each of the new spots was thematically tied to a common yet unexpected object that is part of our everyday lives. Using those everyday objects to ground each scenario, we captured relatable moments that evoked a real sense of emotion.
JTPS launched “Boxes” in October 2013, focusing on promoting JT box format wines - a key volume and share growth drive for the brand. Being the first brand to advertise box wines as a featured product was a big strategic decision due to the social stigmas related to the format (e.g. box wines are cheap/inferior quality, never to be served to guests), but we believed given the context of the platform and our executional style we could create something differentiated and position us as a box wine leader – without sacrificing the elevated brand imagery and associated we now had achieved.
Both new TV spots deliver more emotions of everyday moments in a relatable, social and fun manner. The visual style and tone is carefully carried over from previous spots and all feel part of a ‘We’ve Got a Wine For That’ moment.
"Boxes" TV - 30 sec & 15 sec cut down
"Signs" TV - 30 sec & 15 sec cut down
Social Media Weekly Posts
For JT to standout and reinforce it’s new brand positioning, we launched on TV. This was critical as wine brands don’t typically advertise on this medium. It was also the perfect platform to tell the emotional story of the creative in the TV format.
With a modest media budget for TV we stretched our dollars by focusing on a handful of specialty networks to bundle cost savings and packages, developed a national plan incorporating a blend of 30 sec and 15 sec spots to ensure a strong continual presence throughout the year, and leveraged sponsorships and pre-roll videos to increase exposure to the brand and maximize our media dollars.
Based on the fit with creative and the communication objectives, TV and pre-roll have remained our consistent media choices throughout both years of advertising the new brand positioning.
Social Media and Public Relations have been successfully used to help amplify the message to increase relevance and emotional affinity for the brand since the new campaign has launched.
Print insertions in trade publications such as Food & Drink, Taste, and Occasions magazine were used to help support and strengthen the communication.
“Success. We’ve got a wine for that.”
The new campaign has generated results beyond expectations. In its first year, the campaign under the new brand positioning generated results beyond expectations. In June 2012, just 7 months into the campaign, the + 3.8% sales growth goal was blown away and sales were up 17% nationally.
And the upward trend continued on year after year. As of July 2014, sales are up 18% VYA in Ontario, 27% out West, 21% in Atlantic and 22% nationally. Remarkably, sales for JT primary competitor French Cross plummeted to -2% vs. last year.
Brand awareness is at an all-time high as of Spring 2014, specifically reporting higher awareness vs direct category competition by 20%, and past 6-month (P6M) consumption increased significantly from 23% to 41%. Brand perception scores show strong associations with taste appeal, badge value, quality, and heritage. Across all loyalty metrics it was the top performing brand amongst the competition.
NATIONAL SALES GROWTH (%)
F12 (Mar ’11 – Feb ’12) vs. F11 (Mar ’10 – Feb ’11)
F13 (Mar ’12 – Feb ’13) vs. F12 (Mar ’11 – Feb ’12)
F14 (Mar ’13 – July ’14) vs. F13 (Mar ’13 – Feb ’13)
*Previous year had -4% growth
Current YTD vs. LY YTD
Impact of the advertising speaks for itself. The last round of equity tracking revealed that 57% of those who recall seeing the ad have consumed the brand in the P6M. Also, overall impressions are incredibly strong: 73% rating it between 8 to 10 (on a 10-point scale).
Not only did the ads increase purchase occasion with current users, they were successful in drawing new and lapsed drinkers:
· 29% awareness
· 51% say ads improved impression of the brand
· 34% consumed the brand in the P6M
Basically those who recall seeing the ads were more likely to have consumed JT in the P6M, had greater propensity to buy in the next 12 months, and recommend it to others.
Brand equity tracking clearly correlates that advertising has had a major role in the JT sales growth and business resurgence.
Specifically the new TV spot ‘Boxes’ in recent pre and post ad research study, compared to past and current creative, positively impacted overall brand impressions and strengthened perceptions that the brand is easy drinking and good for everyday drinking occasions. The study revealed:
- Boxes achieved strong ad recall levels (in line with previous creative) as 24% of respondents recall seeing or hearing an ad for JT in the past 6 months.
- Unaided awareness recall levels was highest of all wine brands tested in post and the brand experienced a significant increase from 8% in the pre wave vs 16% in post.
- Boxes was liked at similar levels as pervious creative executions; however, increased branding in Boxes resulted in higher brand link levels: Boxes 74% vs. Shoes 67% vs. Lights 59%.
Considering that the brand is experiencing strongest growth in 4L box wine skew, and that each 4L is sold for between $40 - $43, this is deemed a success on a big bet the brand made by advertising box wine. And it is absolutely delivering on the business objectives we set for the brand.
On par to previous years - budget was re-allocated to advertising.
On par to previous year - no changes.
On par to previous year.
Unusual Promotional Activity:
No unusual promotional activity.
Other Potential Causes:
During the brand repositioning work, HKA Design redesigned the packaging. Two months before the advertising started, the new packaging was introduced in-stores across the country. This combined with the new advertising campaign directly help drive the dramatic growth we’ve seen as a result of the total marketing communications plan.