Campaign: The Banrock Banger
Client: Banrock Station/Constellation Wines
PR team: Westbury Communications
Timescale: May-July 2004
In 2004, Australian wine maker Banrock Station sponsored National Barbecue Week. As nine other sponsors were also involved, Constellation Wines, the European distributor of Banrock, asked retained PR agency Westbury Communications to make Banrock stand out, while reflecting its existing advertising strapline 'Savour Nature's Favourite Wine'. Objectives
To build the Banrock brand and support the association with National Barbecue Week. To move the wine into the lifestyle arena by extending coverage beyond the wine columns to consumer media.
Strategy and Plan
To establish the link between Banrock and barbecues, Westbury worked with gourmet butcher Randalls to develop a range of Aussie-inspired Banrock Bangers - sausages featuring emu, kangaroo and crocodile meat marinated in Banrock wine.
Antipodean celebrity chef Ross Burden endorsed the sausages by developing a range of banger-based recipes, as well as taking part in a photocall and various interviews.
Having secured exclusive packaging for the bangers, Westbury commissioned a survey on barbecue culture in the UK to uncover Britain's favourite bite and reveal which famous Aussie the nation would most like to see slaving over hot coals.
The results, naming the humble sausage alongside Mel Gibson and Kylie Minogue, were sold in to national and regional consumer media with the Banrock Banger story.
Samples of the sausages were also given to members of the wine press in an effort to create industry interest in the initiative. This activity included tastings with wine writers, such as Oz Clarke and The Observer's Tim Atkin, and a Banrock Banger themed barbecue at Wandsworth Park for consumer and trade journalists.
Measurement and Evaluation
Westbury calculates that the campaign reached an audience of more than 18 million people. Highlights included more than one hour's coverage on Radio 1's Vernon Kay Show, a ten-minute interview with Burden on LBC Radio, and pieces in The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times Style magazine and Metro.
The Daily Express ran a full-page article based on the UK barbecue culture survey.
Banrock saw a nine per cent increase in sales between May and December 2004 compared with the previous year.
Following the UK initiative, Banrock rolled out a similar campaign in Australia. Furthermore, Constellation still commissions the promotional bangers for corporate events.
Freelance food and wine writer Jill Cox, who wrote about the sausages for Nine to Five magazine, says: 'I'm always interested in anything new and exciting and the sausages were not only unusual but delicious, quite posh and beautifully packaged.'
She adds that the campaign was well placed for the run-up to the BBQ season: 'The PR team supplied good images and sausages for me to sample'.