Villa Maria has earned a reputation as “New Zealand’s most awarded winery” and is recognised around the country. However, high brand awareness was not translating to instore preference.  In an increasingly competitive environment, it became apparent that building an emotional connection with consumers was critical to driving in-store sales, beyond the consideration of price point. So, in 2017 the brand communications platform, Open Another World, was born as a vehicle to communicate the stories and people behind the brand’s rich legacy, whilst simultaneously opening consumers’ worlds to wines they may have never discovered before.

Anthem was engaged by Villa Maria to bring the Open Another World platform to life for wine drinkers across New Zealand in a three-phased approach.

In phase one, Anthem developed an integrated marketing communications programme with executions across five key channels: digital and social; earned media, partnerships, including influencers and media, and in-store, with a consumer activation at its heart.

The Open Another World platform came to life with an urban treasure hunt based at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. Hundreds of participants solved clues to make their way around Villa Maria on-premise locations, such as Soul Bar and Pilkington’s, to discover new varietals and engage with the Villa Maria brand stories. Participation was driven by way of a week-long radio campaign and a digital media campaign.  Participants who completed the Open Another World treasure hunt were into win a trip around the world for two as well as a host of spot prizes. 

Open Another World phase two, took Kiwi wine drinkers on a journey of exploration into new varietals.  In key regional markets across New Zealand, consumers had the opportunity to explore lesser-known varietals with in-store sampling.  In-store collateral and a digital media campaign encouraged the purchase of two new varietal discoveries to be in to win an all-expenses paid trip to the birthplace of their favourite new wine.  

Visitors to the dedicated Open Another World campaign hub engaged with the stories and heroes behind Villa Maria and went on a wine journey of discovery via a video series hosted by Villa Maria Senior Winemaker Dave Roper turned to the NZHerald for articles about the brand legacy story and entered a consumer competition to win.

The second phase of Open Another World was hugely successful with over 320,000 views of the wine journey videos and over 9,000 competition entries with nearly half of the entrants opting in for emails from Villa Maria – a great sign of brand health and buy-in from our target audience.