Inniskillin tells how it all began in new campaign

Who: Arterra Wines, Bensimon Byrne, DentsuX for media and Craft Public Relations.

What: A new campaign for Arterra’s Inniskillin wine that uses the story of the brand’s founding partners to showcase its successes and accomplishments since launching in 1975.

When & Where: The first elements were released in late November, with a cinematic :60 posted in mid December. The campaign elements include online, TV, out of home and print in Ontario and B.C. Arterra says this is the first part of a “broader reintroduction of the brand.”

Why: Inniskillin lays claim to being the brand that put Canadian wine on the global stage, when its ice wine won the top honour at France’s Vin Expo, in 1991.

This a story about its artisanal roots and the passion of its founders, who above all cared about making a great product*. Every brand wants to be “authentic” these days, and this is the story about what makes Inniskillin authentic. Arterra put a similar focus on history when it launched The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright  late last summer, while Molson told its origin story for Canadian last year.

“We’re a Canadian winery, and so maybe it’s not unexpected that, historically, we’ve been somewhat humble about how we’ve told our story. But it’s time to give Inniskillin the swagger it deserves,” said Andrea Hunt, senior vice-president, marketing, Arterra Wines in a release.

How: The creative is built around that success story. Shot by acclaimed director Hubert Davis (who worked with Bensimon Byrne), the anthem spot starts before the 1991 win, telling the story of how the two founding partners got their start and some of the hurdles they had to overcome. It has the look and feel of a movie-trailer, with a short opening and then a fast-paced, quick cut, dramatic retelling of the story.

And we quote: “In so many ways, Inniskillin was the original start-up. But instead of a garage in Silicon Valley, we have fields of grapes in Niagara. We’re excited to bring our bold reimagining of this brand home, to where it all began.” — Andrea Hunt senior vice-president, marketing, Arterra Wines.

*This story has been corrected. Arterra Wines Canada has been owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan since 2016.


David Brown