ON A MISERABLE GREY February day seven judges met at the White Horse in London to judge the third Wine Design & Marketing Challenge. After a great deal of back and forth, the one thing the judges were unanimous on was that, when it comes to design and marketing, wine is anything but grey and miserable.
“For many years the wine industry has been in the doldrums”, chairman Paul Foulkes-Arellano said. “Wafer-thin margins, oversupply and substantial losses have meant that investment in marketing and design has seen a steep decline. But it seems something is in the air in 2017. Influenced by the success of microdistilleries and craft beer, wine seems to be finding a new path when it comes to design and marketing.”
Denomination was the big winner, picking up two trophies and a supreme champion award for its work on Take it to the Grave and Four Winds, respectively.
Take it to the Grave, an Australian range by Fourth Wave Wines, was awarded a trophy in the Best New Design of a Wine Brand category for its Shiraz. Judges commended the bottle for the finish and the skull-shaped back label. The design features skeletons with a light-hearted twist – playing musical instruments and dressed in hats and scarves. Neil Vestrini creative director at Cartils, said everything in terms of design had been taken care of. A strong contender for supreme champion, Take it to the Grave was pipped to the post by Four Winds.
After nabbing a trophy for its Sangiovese in the Best Repackaged Wine Design category, the Four Winds range picked up a second trophy for Best Wine Range.
The small, family-run Four Winds vineyard in Murrumbateman, Canberra District, set out to change its “quite forgettable” packaging that “lacked significant shelf standout”. The solution was to bring the name to life with photographs taken by one of the owners.
Evidently the change worked. So much so it was crowned supreme champion. While the judges recognised the design wasn’t a first, they said it was “quite simply gorgeous” and the range could be extended with ease.
When it came to marketing, the big winners were Cube Communications for its Tesco Finest Wine Bar campaign, Pernod Ricard Winemakers for its St Hugo Brand Home Launch and JK Marketing was named Wine PR Company of the Year. To pick up any awards in marketing –and design for that matter – requires originality, execution and results.
Foulkes-Arellano added: “The best of 2017 bears no relations to what was happening in 2007 or indeed in 2012. A new language is being written for wine – highly emotive, pictorial and multilayered, with strong narrative.
“The trophy winners stood out for their effortless sophistication and style. They are truly novel, but clearly will strike a chord with all levels of audience.”
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