LCBO ‘France ooh la la’

A 37% increase in sales? Ooh la la! This was the result of the LCBO's recent campaign, which aimed to boost French wine sales by giving consumers a better understanding of the product. Created by a team of agencies, the promotion ran Feb. 2 to 26, and significantly increased sales of the featured labels versus the same period last year.

A 37% increase in sales? Ooh la la! This was the result of the LCBO’s recent campaign, which aimed to boost French wine sales by giving consumers a better understanding of the product. Created by a team of agencies, the promotion ran Feb. 2 to 26, and significantly increased sales of the featured labels versus the same period last year.

The campaign included radio spots, FSIs, an interactive Web site featuring recipes and a contest, P-O-S and a theme-related music CD sold in-store and online for $11.95.

After panelists Karen Howe, VP/CD at Due North, Toronto, and

Martin Beauvais, EVP/CD at BBDO Montreal got a taste of the work,

we asked them whether it was worthy of ‘cheers’ or ‘jeers.’

OVERALL CONCEPT

KH: It’s either a tremendously elegant way to educate the palate of the novice wine drinker, or it’s the ‘French Wine for Dummies’ promotion. Either way you spin it, it’s a strong effort to demystify French wines and make the experience far less intimidating.

MB: How to sell a fantastic product using tired clichés. Here are the clichés: Ze French Lover, the Eiffel Tower, the word FRANCE in hand script.

CREATIVE

KH: Visually the work is quite attractive, with a rich palette of colours that extends nicely across all pieces. The work hangs together rather well from a visual standpoint.

MB: It’s nicely integrated, looks seamless in all applications (Web, print, P-O-S, etc.), and it probably worked very well.

CD

KH: Is it possible to hear ‘La Vie en Rose’ too many times? I think not. Especially with a glass of Côtes du Rhône in your hand.

MB: There is a CD called France ooh la la with tracks by Eartha Kitt, James Taylor and Natalie Cole?!!!

RADIO SPOTS

KH: The premise is solid. It offers the notion that the Frenchness [wine] is the bit of romance that can change everything – whether it be a root canal or a furnace repair. I wish they’d pushed the creative a bit further. It could have been funnier.

MB: I think the idea works, but it’s not truly fresh, and it uses clichés that are way too simple.

WEB SITE

KH: Nice connecting the cyberdots. The site helps the consumer distinguish the regions, decode the labels, and make sense of the different flavour profiles and food pairings.

MB: Recipes look nice and are really, really tough to make.

P-O-S

KH: It’s terrific. The colour-coded bottle collars help identify the different wines. However,

the description of the medium-bodied wines as ‘nourishing’ would be more appropriate for a bowl of oatmeal.

The physical structure of the fold-out booklet is a tad awkward, but it gets full marks for its educational value.

MB: My favourite piece was the little bottle tags. My guess is this had the best impact on consumers, and left a pretty good impression of the LCBO.

The creds:

FSI

Oxygen Design + Communications: Jean Hammond, account director;

Alex Wigington, creative director + partner; Jennifer Weymouth,

senior designer + associate

Radio:

GJP Advertising: John Farquhar, CD; Matt Litzinger, associate CD; Lino DiNallo, copywriter; Marisa DeBartolo, producer; Rachel Pankratz, account supervisor

Pirate Radio: Rick Shurman, radio producer

Web site:

Taxi: Steve Mykolyn, CD; Ali Hladkyj, design director; Andrea Schumeth, producer; Stephanie Wall, account director; Alexis Gropper, copywriter; Matt Burtch,

Web developer

P-O-S

Mental Art & Design: Joe Biafore, art director; Angela Campbell,

France Simard, designers