I have been fortunate enough to work with the folks over at Wines & Vines for quite a few years now on a wide swath of projects, including a multi-year promotional effort to increase sales of their annual directory (basically everything and everyone worth knowing in the domestic wine industry).
When we tackled this project the recession was looming so it was a prescient move to tackle it early. And given that I’m not a huge agency with lots of bureaucratic overhead, many clients have found that they can maintain a competitive advantage by sustaining their marketing efforts without having to entirely shelve their marketing budgets. So it was with Wines & Vines.
Working closely with the publisher and their in-house marketing team, I came up with a number of strategic avenues to explore and their associated visual treatments. In defining the myriad audiences that the Directory speaks to, we eventually fell on a clean user focused campaign, putting actual customers and settings out there to provide real world testament to the efficacy of the Directory in a variety of wine industry environments. We also produced a lot of A/B pieces to test and settle on the approaches with the greatest efficacy.
Its always a good sign when business is great in a down economy, and that certain has been the case with Wines & Vines. The success of the campaign has been evident in the sales of the Directory as well as the adoption of the campaign and its visuals across a far wider range of the Wines & Vines brand than even I had originally envisioned!