Yellow Tail urges Canadians to get toasty

Yellow Tail is adding a whole lot of cheese to its wine with a new Facebook contest called “Goodbye Fridays” that invites contestants to create their own toast.

Chris Powell May 12, 2011

Yellow Tail is adding a whole lot of cheese to its wine with a new Facebook contest called “Goodbye Fridays” that invites contestants to create their own toast. It’s in step with the brand’s strategy to rebuild sales at a time when Aussie wines are losing market share in Canada.

Part of an overarching marketing program known as “Fridays Off,” the online contest is offering a grand prize of $20,000 in cash – which is said to be the equivalent of having Fridays off work for one year.

Developed by the Omnicom-owned TBWA\Toronto, which began working with the brand at the start of the year, the English-only initiative is housed on Yellow Tail’s Canadian Facebook page. Once participants “like” the page (it had nearly 17,000 likes at press time), they can enter the contest and view other entries.

The promotion is also being supported in-store with bottle neck tags directing consumers to the Facebook page. In Ontario, it enables Yellow Tail to piggyback on a “Rediscover Down Under” promotion that is currently running in LCBO stores throughout the province.

Like many of its Australian counterparts, Yellow Tail has seen its market share in Canada eroded, mostly by wines from Latin American countries like Argentina and Chile, since late 2008.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary next month (it debuted in Canada two years later, in 2002), Yellow Tail currently accounts for 15.2% of all Australian wine sales in Canada and 22% of all Australian wine sales in Ontario according to data supplied by Kirkwood Group (Australian wines comprise 14.5% and 15.4% of import wine sales in Ontario and Canada respectively). Yellow Tail’s shelf space varies by province, although in Ontario it has eight varietals and two sparkling wines.

Holly Wyatt, director of marketing for Kirkwood Group – Yellow Tail’s sales and marketing agent in Ontario and Saskatchewan – speculated that with a print point of around $13, which she said put the brand in the “higher end” price category, the recent recession may have been a significant contributor to the slip in sales.

“We were definitely the king of the castle for a lot of years, and there’s been a lot of brands that have come in and taken a little bit of the slice of that pie away,” said Wyatt. “It’s really about re-energizing the brand and to some degree, because the brand is so big, re-energizing the [Australian] category a little bit.”

Wyatt described the new work from TBWA/Toronto as more “all-encompassing,” with both the retail and on-premise channels covered, as well as numerous vehicle channels appearing in the media mix.

“The end result is we want to activate the consumer, whether that’s going to buy a bottle or just being reminded of this brand that they do love and is worthwhile to rediscover,” she said.

In June, the promotion will gain additional support from an out-of-home campaign breaking in six major markets (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax) that will invite consumers to text a toast for a chance to see it appear on a digital board in a high-traffic part of the city.

Night projections are also scheduled to come on-stream in July, while a Yellow Tail-branded Airstream trailer will also appear at festivals throughout Ontario during July and August.

Wyatt said that one of the campaign objectives is to position the Yellow Tail brand as “approachable and accessible.”

“It’s really all about Yellow Tail being very accessible, not being overly pretentious and making sure that we’re talking to the consumer in a way that’s pretty familiar,” she said.

TBWA/Toronto collaborated with the Australian agency Amnesia Razorfish on some of the campaign’s digital elements. OMD Canada handled media for the campaign.