Wines from Rioja
VIBRANT RIOJA CAMPAIGN
Rioja’s wine region trade association, the Consejo Regulador D.O.C.a. Rioja, operates under the auspices of Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture to regulate and uphold quality standards among wineries and promote the image of Rioja wines. Located in north central Spain, Rioja is Spain’s oldest and most prominent wine region. The Consejo hired CRT/tanaka in 2005 to develop and implement an integrated U.S. marketing campaign. Through the agency-created “Vibrant Rioja” campaign, CRT/tanaka aimed primarily to generate awareness and interest in Rioja wines among a younger Gen-Y and X audience, who represent future wine sales growth. Over the past six years, the campaign has evolved from “awareness” to “awareness and sales-generation” for Rioja wines. Challenge in 2011: Marketing Rioja wines in a recovering economy and an increasingly competitive wine marketplace with more than 25,000 (domestic and imported) wine brands and more than 125 wine countries/regions (domestic and foreign) being promoted in the U.S.
Based on our research and heightened competition from other wine brands/wine regions, our 2011 Vibrant Rioja campaign involved an expanded trade program; an increase in wine tasting events and promotions for trade and consumers; a more robust social media effort; and stronger communications of the “Rioja Tempranillo” message (in addition to ongoing campaign messages about Rioja as a producer of consistently superior wines through unparalleled quality control, offering tremendous value, style, diversity and food-friendliness).
- Enhance awareness and perception of Rioja wines among wine-drinking consumers and the wine trade. Increase awareness and perception in annual survey conducted by campaign.
- Facilitate on- and off-premise programs and promotions to increase shipments of Rioja wines. Increase on-/off-premise promotions by 15 percent. Support increase in shipments of at least 8 percent.
- Generate greater traditional and social media coverage of Rioja wines to reach target trade and consumer audiences, particularly Millennials and Gen X. Acheive at least a 20 percent increase in traditional media and at least a 200 percent increase in social media.
- Consumers: Wine-interested consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen X who represent the “next generation” of wine drinkers, and who are still forging brand loyalties.
- Trade: Off-premise (large, multi-state chain retailers and independent wine shops) and on-premise (sommeliers, wine buyers and corporate multi-concept restaurant chains)
- Expand Vibrant Rioja Trade Program to cover additional key geographic markets and execute more on- and off-premise initiative.
- Support expanded Trade Program through PR, social media, advertising, retail promotions and sponsorships, making it even more efficient/effective in reaching wine trade and wine-drinking consumers.
- Engage in strategic partnerships to increase awareness of Rioja wines in social media and online communities of wine-savvy consumers to reach a younger audience.
- Vibrant Rioja Trade Program: The eight-member trade team located in CRT/tanaka’s New York office and in key regions (N.E., S.E., M.W., S Cal.) executed five types of programs, including Integrated Retail Programs (promotions with high-volume chain retailers); Point-of-Purchase Programs (new placements of Rioja wines at independent retailers in key regions); National Reach (short-term, on- and off-premise promotions in secondary markets); National Accounts (programs with corporate, multi-state and multi-concept restaurants and hotels); and Trade Lectures (to educate buyers, sommeliers, bartenders and retailers about Rioja wines).
- Grand Tasting Events in New York and San Francisco: Agency staged two Grand Tasting events themed, “Rioja – The Heart of Tempranillo,” for hundreds of important trade, media and consumers to educate them about Rioja Tempranillo. These events featured a “walk-around” tasting where importers (65 in New York; 41 in San Francisco) presented their Rioja wine portfolios, and a “seminar” featuring three noted Rioja winemakers to showcase the spectrum of style in Rioja Tempranillo. In each market, intimate lunches and dinners also were hosted to allow key media and trade to meet with the visiting winemakers from Rioja. The New York Grand Tasting also was enhanced with social media initiatives (a five-hour livestream of event, Twitter hashtag #riojabuzz created, and social media lounges set-up with flat screens showing Facebook page and Twitter feed) and a partnership with Snooth.com, the world’s largest wine lifestyle web platform, which hosted a consumer reception following the trade and media event).
- 4th Annual North American Wine Blogger Conference (July 22-24, Charlottesville, Va.): Sponsored/ participated in this conference to increase Rioja’s awareness and trial among the top 300+ U.S. wine bloggers and social media influencers. CRT/tanaka created a “Vibrant Rioja Crawl,” involving five wine bars and restaurants in Charlottesville, to introduce conference attendees to Rioja wines.
- VinPass: Partnered with this social wine gaming platform to create Rioja-branded badges to reward wine lovers posting mobile or online tasting notes about Rioja. For the Wine Blogger Conference, VinPass created an additional “Rioja Crawl badge,” unlocked exclusively for Blogger Vibrant Rioja Crawl.
- Vibrant Rioja at Trade Events: Sponsored Tempranillos al Mundo (New York, November) international wine competition, involving 418 Tempranillo wines from 13 countries (a Rioja wine won the highest honor); James Beard Foundation Awards (New York, May); Food & Wine Classic (Aspen, Colo., June); and Wines from Spain “Great Match” tasting events in Houston and Dallas (May), Atlanta (May), Seattle (October) and New York (October).
- Ongoing Vibrant Rioja Integrated Marketing Campaign: Communicated key Rioja wine messages, including “Rioja Tempranillo,” via: Rioja Wine Information Bureau (traditional and social media); Press Trip to Rioja (May); Trade Trips to Rioja (April and June); Advertising (trade and consumer); Campaign Newsletters (for consumers and trade); Rioja DirectLink Database (30,621 trade and consumers added in 2011).
- The 2011 Vibrant Rioja Consumer Research revealed that perception of Tempranillo as “top red wine varietal that goes well with any food” moved up from #3 to #2 since 2010. More than 58 percent of consumers said they were “more aware” of Rioja wines than they were five years ago. 2011 Trade Research* reveals that awareness of Rioja wines grew 5 percent in 2011 to 73 percent. Rioja wines are “excellent,” regardless of price, say 61 percent of respondents (up from 53 percent in 2010).
- 2011 Trade Program delivered a 32 percent increase, exceeding 15 percent goal. Nearly 1,320 Rioja wine promotions were executed (1,002 in 2010) in 40 states (21 in 2010) and more than 135 cities (110 cities in 2010). Nearly 110 new Rioja wine placements (90 in 2010). Rioja wine shipments increased 11 percent (vs. 8 percent goal).
- Traditional/social media goals were exceeded. More than 4,800 stories generated vs. more than 3,540 in 2010 for a 36 percent increase, exceeding 20 percent goal. Rioja wines 20,115 Facebook fans increased 1,200% from 1,700, and 4,500 Twitter followers increased 222 percent from 2,080 since 2010, both exceeding goal of 200 percent.
- 2011 Wine Region of the Year Snooth.com
- 2012 PRSA Silver Anvil Award in the Integrated Communications- Consumer Products
- 2012 PRNews’ Digital Award for Most Engaged/Online Community
- 2012 PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for Events and Observances- Associations/Nonprofit Organizations