An audacious wine brand launch for TIFF

Who: Arterra Wines, DentsuBos (creative) and DentsuX (media).

What: An audacious out-of-home idea to launch a new wine brand called “The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright.” It involves growing grape vines and recreating a wine cellar inside the PATH, Toronto’s busy underground pedestrian system.

When & Where: Timed to coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the vines are located in the PATH near Roy Thomson Hall and St. Andrew subway station—essentially TIFF’s epicentre. There is also social and outdoor creative tied both to the launch and TIFF, while advertising will also run in Vancouver during the Vancouver International Film Festival later this month.

Who is Thomas G. Bright? The founder of Arterra Wines (originally known as The Niagara Falls Wine Company and, more recently, Vincor and Constellation Brands), Bright is credited with pioneering the Canadian wine industry in 1874. He figured out how to grow grapes in the Niagara region when nobody else could. Today, the Niagara Peninsula accounts for over 93% of Ontario’s grape-growing volume, according to the Grape Growers of Ontario.

“That is the inspiration behind this brand,” said Megan Kras, the copywriter on DentsuBos’s creative team that led the project, along with art director Nathan Styles (Travis Cowdy and Lyranda Martin-Evans are ECDs).

And Bright’s accomplishments were the inspiration to grow grape vines under the streets of Toronto.

Why: “We had this really crazy idea that we are going to honour Thomas G Bright’s spirit and grow grapes in an audacious place, the way that he did back in 1874,” said Kras.

How: The vines are in section of the PATH that runs along a sunken courtyard near Roy Thomson Hall and features windows that provide natural light.

Continuing past that section of the PATH and towards St. Andrew Subway station, the windows disappear and the space starts to feel more like a wine cellar. The standard poster ad boxes along that hallway are being replaced with wine barrels that will contain aging The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright wine. “We’re taking the actual product and basically creating the product inside the ad that’s promoting it,” said Kras.

What about the traditional stuff? Posts to the new TheAudacityWine Instagram account help tell the story of Bright, while outdoor ads around Toronto are emphasizing the “audacious” theme during TIFF. “We have headlines like ‘As audacious as crashing the red carpet’ and ‘As audacious as disagreeing with the critics,'” said Kras.

Quote: “For the launch of this new brand, we were looking for a campaign that would be as disruptive as the name Audacity itself. We wanted Thomas G. Bright’s entrepreneurial spirit to come alive in the execution,” said Andrea Hunt, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for Arterra Wines.  “Creatively, the act of growing vines in an underground vineyard and aging real wine within an ad was fun and bold.”

David Brown