Bordeaux positions its wines as young, affordable

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Trying to reposition its products' brand image from old and expensive to young and affordable, the Bordeaux wine region of France is running a campaign called “Life Goes Better with Bordeaux.”

The effort, conducted by an association of French wine-makers with the aid of digital agency Creative Feed, incorporates an interactive Web site, display ads and social media along with in-store and event marketing to acquire younger customers.

“The perception of Bordeaux is that it is expensive,” said Arthur Ceria, founder and chief creative officer of CreativeFeed. “The campaign is about educating consumers about accessible wines that cost $10 to $30.”

The campaign, scheduled to run from November 10 through mid-January, centers on a Web site where consumers can go to find information about Bordeaux wines, as well as local retailers in their areas that sell them. The site also features live online chats with regional sommeliers called “Le Wine Buff.” The site also geotargets recommendations based on the weather in that visitor's location.

The group timed the effort to coincide with the holidays, which are a popular time to market wine as 60% of sales occur in the fourth quarter, said Ceria. The campaign targets what Ceria called “social sippers,” usually women who are open to trying new wines and research them online. The online push includes display ads across Time, Zagat, Yelp, AOL, Yahoo and Google, as well as search keyword buys.

In addition, the campaign is being promoted on Facebook and Twitter and to bloggers to influence conversations in the social sphere. The group has sent influential wine bloggers a kit with select bottles and a “Winebuff Wheel,” a paper wheel that helps drinkers match a time of day, food choice and other considerations when selecting a bottle.

“We saw that Bordeaux was lagging as a conversation matter, and that California and Italian wines were more popular to talk about in social networks,” added Ceria.

The organization will complement the online effort with signage in wine stores to push the message through to the transaction level. It will also hold events in various cities. Ads will also run in New York taxi cabs, which will include a Web address for consumers to find stores there that sell Bordeaux.

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