Campaign: Food & Drink - Turning Leaf stands out in style stakes

Campaign: Designers in Residence
Client: Turning Leaf
PR team: Wcommunications
Timescale: February-August 2010
Budget: Less than £50,000

Turning Leaf wine has been a sub-brand of E&J Gallo for ten years but with only 15 per cent awareness, it was on the verge of being delisted by a major supermarket. The decision was made to launch Turning Leaf as a standalone, premium brand and create a campaign focusing on fashion-conscious women aged 25 to 45.

OBJECTIVES

- To raise awareness of the Turning Leaf brand

- To increase sales of the wine

- To protect listings in supermarkets and secure further listings across the UK.

STRATEGY AND PLAN

Research showed that while Turning Leaf's target consumers enjoy quality wine, they do not feel engaged in the broader wine category.

The PR team, along with creative agency The Assembly, created 'Designers in Residence' to help the brand become more visible in the world of personal style. The idea was to bring together inspiring people from the world of fashion, style and design and 'install' them in the winery, creating partnerships where the designers would spend time with the winemakers learning about the product. They would then help create new products and fresh packaging, inspired by the taste of Turning Leaf wine.

A collaboration was set up with fashion designers Basso & Brooke, who are famed for their prints and digital printing techniques and have dressed Katy Perry and Michelle Obama. The Turning Leaf collection for spring and summer was launched at their fashion show in February with a range of limited edition Turning Leaf bottles in a print designed for the brand.

Off the back of this, a limited-edition interiors range was produced, incorporating wine tables, a drinks cabinet, printed lampshades and an 'alfresco' kit. These were printed with Basso & Brooke's wine-inspired design.

The PR team launched a three-month free pop-up installation space in The Shop at Bluebird on the King's Road. The interiors items were showcased there from June to August and bloggers and journalists were invited to a launch party where Turning Leaf wine was served.

Regionally, late-night shopping events were held in fashion boutiques in cities around the country, with umbrellas designed by Basso & Brooke given away. The umbrellas were also used in a partnership with Sainsbury's.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

In total 102 pieces of press coverage were generated. Highlights included pieces in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, the Financial Times, the London Evening Standard, Grazia and OK. The campaign also created buzz across fashion blogs and on Twitter.

RESULTS

Awareness of the Turning Leaf brand has increased by 60 per cent and two new listings have been secured in supermarkets including Sainsbury's. The wine is now listed in 255 more stores in the UK than it was at the beginning of the year. Further partnerships have been secured, taking the project up to summer 2011.

SECOND OPINION - Helen Westgate, Founder, Westgate Communications

In the noisy marketplace of 2010, this campaign is testament to the challenges all brands face in trying to create the right 'stand out'. Launches that just focus on product benefits without recall to lateral creativity will not make the impact most clients are after.

By creating the Designers in Residence platform, the agency not only raised awareness of the brand, but also injected Turning Leaf with a distinctive personality to appeal directly to target customers. Canny associations like this are key for brands like Turning Leaf, particularly those trying to create traction and which don't benefit from affectionate heritages like Heinz or Marmite.

The pop-up installation at Bluebird is particularly clever and cost-effective, creating a media 'happening' with the brand at the centre, and bringing the worlds of onand offline PR together. Digital activity could have been extended by generating Twitter or video content from the events or getting fans to interact by submitting their own designs.

I also liked the regional roll-out; often we forget the importance of local media to consumers outside the M25 corridor. This would have generated good reach without breaking the bank.

There are many more fashion avenues for the brand to explore so its new personality on the supermarket shelf can be maintained. There will be challenges, though, as all brand comms will need to maintain the exclusive fashion feel; umbrellas available at Sainsbury's may lose their 'limited edition' allure.

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