Wolf Blass partners with CBC on Dragon’s Den spin-off

Wine featured in pre-roll, banner ads

Wolf Blass CBC

Wolf Blass Wines is getting in touch with its founder’s entrepreneurial roots in an effort to entice younger wine drinkers.

The Australian winemaker has signed on as the presenting sponsor of Next Gen Den, an online spinoff of CBC Television’s popular prime time series Dragon’s Den. The program was created in association with The Think Tank, a Toronto-based promotion agency that has been working with Wolf Blass on below-the-line promotions for the past two years.

The online show, which debuted Monday, is comprised of 12 webisodes featuring tech-focused entrepreneurs. It is the first spin-off of the public broadcaster’s hit reality show Dragon’s Den, which marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Angela Lyons, marketing director for Wolf Blass, said the company was looking to attract a younger audience as it prepares to launch the “next generation” of its Yellow Label wines later this spring.

She said Next Gen Den’s focus on young entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with the spirit of Wolf Blass Wines’ 80-year-old founder Wolfgang Blass AM, who was also an entrepreneur when he launched what would become a global brand in 1966.

The marketing program includes a “Wolf Blass presents:” tag, banner ads and a 15-second pre-roll spot. The banners and pre-roll video feature one of four quotes from Wolfgang Blass, such as “To accomplish great things one must have a vision, plan and belief to be successful.” A callout to Wolf Blass and Next Gen Den is also being included in the original Dragon’s Den on CBC Television.

Lyons said consumer research found many current Australian wine drinkers are 50-plus, having discovered wines such as Wolf Blass when they rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“We’re looking to tap into younger consumers who may not be as familiar with the Australian category,” said Lyons. “We found that as the Australian category has progressed, consumers are looking for a sense of place, which is what we’re delivering in the new Yellow Label wines.”

The revitalized Yellow Label wines will also be promoted by a national out-of-home campaign running through April and May, with a particular focus on Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada – which Lyons said is a key market for Wolf Blass. “As the category has evolved across the country, for whatever reason Atlantic Canada is absolutely in love with Wolf Blass,” she said.

Steven Pitkanen, senior content liaison executive at CBC, said the broadcaster was keen to introduce a digital version of Dragon’s Den, since research indicates that younger consumers are increasingly opting to view video online.

Entrepreneurs participating in Next Gen Den have an average age of 27, he said. “The momentum of people creating businesses is so on the rise right now, I think anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit is latching onto it,” he said.

CBC put out a call for young entrepreneurs to participate in Next Gen Den in November, with the 12 episodes shot in December. New episodes are available each Monday at CBC.ca/NextGenDen.

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