"This is a breakthrough campaign for Allegro Cellars and a best-in-class example on the importance of shifting focus to become a consumer-centric brand. Thank you for helping us revive Allegro!"
CMO of O'Neill Vintners & Distillers
FOR: O'NEILL VINTNERS
Creative Execution/Campaign Name: “Let Alegría Move You”
Year Released: 2021
Jeff O’Neill, the California based Founder & CEO of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers had a problem. By 2020, America’s wine Consumption had dropped for the first time in 25 years, with Americans favoring ready to drink spirits and hard seltzers.
One brand in the O’Neill Vintner’s portfolio that was profoundly affected by this shift was their long standing Moscato brand, Allego Cellars. The Allegro Cellars Moscato was tired; a sweet wine mired by poor perceptions, it had lost its core consumer set and was posting rapid sales and affinity declines.
That’s when Jeff and his team turned to BARÚ. They asked us to re-define the role of Moscato in the mindset of low-involvement audiences who are immersing themselves in wine to increase affinity for Allegro.
In order to grow demand for Allegro Cellars, we needed to establish and deepen the relationship with a NEW core audience that could help future-proof the brand. We also needed a distinguished point of view and identity within O’Neill’s portfolio to appeal to distributors and retailers alike. Our goal was to establish relevance and elevate Allegro’s offering to consumers. The brand had a lot of things going for it: A fun, uplifting and a colorful palate; California heritage and authenticity; and tasty, easy drinking. The canvas was ours to work with.
HOW DID WE UNLOCK GROWTH?
We identified an opportunity to own the intersection of modern wine culture and the Hispanic millennial lifestyle. Wine marketers had adapted their brands to cater to different subcultures within millennial culture, but the Hispanic millennial culture had yet to be center stage of this movement. THIS was a gap in the wine industry that no other brand was playing in yet, and Allegro could be at the forefront. The rest came easily: their name evokes “alegría” (happiness). Allegro and alegría stem from the same Latin root. The name has musicality and more importantly, energy. We saw an opportunity to depict an upbeat, musical Californian vibe through a Hispanic lens. And reframe Moscato by putting California wines on a pedestal, while also remaining accessible and differentiated above competitive brands. To maximize the effort and investment we focused on the trendsetting, bilingual and bicultural MIllennial Latino segment with the overarching goal of creating a halo effect to influence the market in general. This is a young, digitally-savvy cohort consisting of cultural consumers and creators who have intersectional influence in two worlds. Because Hispanic culture is driving culture at large, we aimed to capture the inherent creativity and energy of this young audience and help them create something new.
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE:
But, how could we get Latino millennials excited about a brand that lacked credibility in the subculture? The Brand Idea centered around capturing the energy that fuels them both: the energy of the California “sol” in a bottle. With a combination of branding, media and messaging, we overcame barriers of flavor profile, perception, social status seekers, and low-involvement uncertainties.
We brought the flavors to life in visuals, copy and packaging to show the versatility of Allegro. We consulted closely with the brand to develop their new labeling design system for the re-launch. The case card we created displayed cultural cues and symbols to signal an appreciation for aesthetic, design and lifestyle that our cohort embraces. We brought fun, sharing occasions to life, emphasizing shareability and portability. And we spoke about the California origin wine and different varietals in a modern and approachable way.
Original Label; New Key Visual Exploration
Original Label; Social Visual Exploration
Final Label; Final Case Card Execution
We elevated the brand messaging to positively reflect the multicultural essence of the segment that lives in two words. The communication tasks ran deep, focusing on cultural consumers and creators within the social-digital space, marketing extensions that involved on-premise and retail POS, strategically located out of home, and experiential events that would provide incremental social chatter. We also tapped into up-and-coming Latin artists that embraced the brand, and through their digital presence served as ambassadors, providing additional credibility in Allegro.
To ensure success, BARÚ collaborated with the brand to initially launch the campaign in two test markets, San Antonio, TX and Los Angeles, CA. Results were overwhelmingly positive as the “Culture Creator” program was quickly embraced by the distributors and retailers alike. We scaled the program to several other markets in CA, TX and FL, where the sales teams were able to increase on-premise and retail distribution, revitalizing the brand.
The Allegro campaign, designed to be inclusive, upbeat, vibrant and inviting, delivered increased sales and case volume depletions. It injected new life to the O’Neill portfolio and opened the door to product innovation (the Allegro Spritzer). Amidst dramatic category-wide sales declines over the last 2 years, Allegro Cellars has achieved 5-10% YOY growth since re-launching in 2021.
The magic of repositioning the brand was breaking through with something new, rather than appending to a trend. Christine Moll, O’Neill Vintners & Distiller’s CMO said, “This is a breakthrough campaign for Allegro Cellars and a best-in-class example on the importance of shifting focus to become a consumer-centric brand. It has been personally rewarding to work with you to push boundaries to unlock new opportunities for growth. You helped us re-imagine how wine brands can engage consumers on their terms, in their language, and in a culturally relevant way. Thank you for helping us revive Allegro!”
The brand strategy and creative remain in-market and today are stronger than ever. Our culturally integrated, consumer focused effort provided short-term relief in driving positive margins, and offered a long-term growth solution, successfully creating a new future-forward consumer loyalist base.
O’Neill Vintners implements a powerful vision that is realized on all fronts of the business. In 2022, founder and CEO, Jeff O’Neill was awarded the “Person of the Year” Wine Star Award by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. While he did not win this award for Allegro Cellars, the turnaround of the brand was part of an overall success strategy that Jeff and his team continue to pursue tirelessly. As an industry trailblazer, he has implemented inclusive, equitable and sustainable solutions that have grown O’Neill into the 10th largest winery in America with 13 nationally distributed brands and two dozen private-label wines.
SOCIAL / DIGITAL SAMPLES:
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SOCIAL CAROUSEL EXAMPLE:
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DIGITAL BANNER EXAMPLE :
Web Design and Development.
Our team designed and developed a custom Ecommerce experience with store finder.
Out Of Home and POS
Beyond this digital centric campaign, our team developed all re-launch assets including out-of-home, POS, neck hangers and sales/promotional materials.