Ever want to be a winemaker? That is the question La Crema asked as it launched its Virtual Vintner campaign, which was designed to harness the passion of La Crema’s existing fan base, attract new consumers and highlight its artisan wine-making philosophy.
Campaign participants embarked on a digital wine-making journey, learning directly from La Crema’s winemaker to create a totally new wine. The campaign combined trends around personalization and online storytelling with approachable, fun wine education. Virtual Vintner engaged both younger, millennial wine drinkers and more sophisticated fans, ultimately driving overall brand awareness, boosting quality perceptions and increasing sales.
With its 35-year history of crafting small-batch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, La Crema enjoys critical acclaim and a base of passionate, loyal consumers, but the winery plays in a crowded environment, with hundreds of competitors on retail shelves and restaurant wine lists. In 2012 and 2013 alone, more than 100,000 new labels were submitted to the industry’s regulatory agency for approval. In addition, in a category where perceived quality is critical to driving sales, several years of research suggested perceptions related to La Crema’s quality needed a jump-start.
They wanted to validate existing consumer excitement for the winery and grow understanding of their quality, as well as attract new wine drinkers to the brand. Education was clearly key, but traditional, serious wine marketing isn’t their style, so they had to create something fresh.
To understand consumer perspectives about La Crema and the broader wine industry, they conducted primary brand research as well as secondary studies about the category and key consumer segments. They asked, what drives consumer interest in wine in the U.S.?
Studies of La Crema consumers from 2010-2012 showed a drop in perceptions of quality. In 2013, their annual brand equity study suggested La Crema’s biggest opportunity was to become more meaningful to our consumers. This meant strengthening perceptions of quality for our most loyal fans – female millennials, ages 21-34.
They also reviewed extensive industry research to understand wine consumption and glean insights about effective marketing trends. Wine Intelligence’s “America’s New Wine Drinkers” report (2013) indicated millennials were driving wine sales, and that they were more interested in wines that educate. Their strategy was also informed by studies on overall millennial behavior, which suggested that segment is interested in co-creation, dialogue and online programs.
They decided to leverage the fall harvest time frame, the season that holds the most romantic mystique, to engage fans in an integrated, educational communications platform.
Their objectives were to:
- Build brand awareness o 10,000 Virtual Vintners creating accounts within the interactive microsite
- Average time on site at least 60 seconds.
- National and local media coverage, in wine verticals and top-tier consumer and lifestyle outlets.
- Expand La Crema email list in support of Direct to Consumer business.
- Reinforce quality story and highlight artisan winemaking philosophy
- Raise awareness of the winery’s focus on quality among Virtual Vintner participants.
- Move the needle on overall perceptions of quality in annual brand equity study.
- Increase sales
- Increase e-commerce sales at LaCrema.com.
- Drive sales in national retail channels as measured by IRI scan data.
The campaign invited anyone to be a winemaker through an interactive digital experience where consumers followed a “choose your own adventure”-style journey, resulting in the first-ever crowd sourced La Crema wine.
The program unfolded in real time: on August 11, 2014, the microsite went live at vv.lacrema.com. Participants voted on variety, growing region, vineyard, fermentation style and barrel treatment, as well as the wine name. New decision points were introduced each week. Rather than the typical, stuffy wine education, they offered videos, photos, personality quizzes and quick facts to help inform choices. Popular vote determined the path, and ultimately the finished wine.
Social media and media relations drove the program, complemented by paid digital advertising. They also developed a national MAT release to build widespread awareness, engaged lifestyle bloggers to co-create content about the program for both the La Crema blog and their own sites, and brought an influential blogger, Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha, to the winery to work harvest for five days and document her experience. Paid promotion included banner ads and newsletter content in Bottlenotes.
And how did things go? If this program were a wine, it would fall into the “Grand Cru” category – the best of the best. Virtual Vintner exceeded all expectations, with more than double the anticipated number of users and significant national media coverage. Most importantly, the program drove measurable change in attitudes around La Crema’s quality and increased sales.
- Average time on site was 2:20, 133% higher than goal.
- Media: 254,855,016 total reach and 196 placements.
- Major Market Highlights: Associated Press, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times.
- Email Database: Added 15,000 opt-in subscribers.
- According to a survey of Virtual Vintner participants conducted in December 2014, 97% have a better understanding of La Crema’s high quality growing areas, and 98% have greater respect for La Crema’s dedication to quality.
- Respondents noting La Crema “Consistently makes high-quality wines” were up 5 points.
- In the three months after the program launch, LaCrema.com transactions were up 134% over the previous year.
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Posted in PRSA Anvil Awards
Earlier in 2015, Domino's took an innovative approach to pizza orders, catering for the Snapchat and Yo! Generation with emoji based ordering system. The Twitter-based campaign was so successful it won this year’s Cannes Titanium Grand Prix for most breakthrough idea of the year. This case study looks at the pizza chain’s recipe for success.
Case study summary
• Innovative and fun new way to order pizza, based on popular new communication method; Emojis
• Domino's teased the intro with mystery tweets before campaign to generate consumer and media interest
• 500 sign ups in one day, and huge amounts of media coverage
Domino's wanted a way to appeal to the younger generation of consumers who are used to instant, wordless communication in a world of Snapchat, Instagram and the one word Yo! messaging app. But how could that translate to take way pizzas?
Developed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the idea was prefaced by a cryptic collection of tweets made up entirely of emojis, sparking quite a bit of interest (and bemusement). The take way pizza chain foreshadowed the announcement on their Twitter feed lately using all pizza emojis and no text.
The ‘tweet-to-order’ system went live in May 2015 for customers in the US, becoming the first major player in the restaurant industry to use Twitter on a regular basis to place and complete orders. The company will then sends users a direct message, where they’ll confirm their order.
“It’s the epitome of convenience,” Domino's CEO Patrick Doyle told USA Today. “We’ve got this down to a five-second exchange.”
In just one day, more than 500 people across the US used the emoji ordering system, although it’s impossible to say if they would have just ordered the regular way or the novelty of the idea prompted them to use Domino's. But more importantly, the marketing stunt earned the brand plenty of media coverage, on USA Today, Forbes, Good Morning America and comedian Jimmy Fallon all picking up the story.
The selection of the Domino's effort for the Cannes Lions award was "certainly a long, drawn-out discussion," according to judge Mark Fitzloff. Partner, Executive Creative Director. Wieden+Kennedy. "We felt really good about awarding an idea that has the potential to impact a major advertiser's business model. What I see in the emoji ordering idea is the touch of an agency, the touch of a creative person on a real, legitimate business-moving idea. Increasingly, that's where the opportunities for ad agencies are."