Arterra finds the local connection to international wines

Expats now living in Quebec are helping the wine maker combine the historical popularity of imported wines with demand for local products.
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Arterra is getting Quebecers originally from countries where some of its wines are sourced to drive home the fact that something of international origin can still have a local connection.

In the creative, Californian, Australian, French, Portuguese and Spanish-born residents share their thoughts in a documentary-style format, talking about how five different wines remind them of their homeland and connecting it to their new province. The wines all have origins from elsewhere, but are bottled at Arterra’s facility in Rougemont, Quebec: Confessions, Cliff 79, Félix & Lucie, Liberado and Pereira.

Imports make up more than 70% of the wine that is consumed in Canada, with Quebec typically importing more wine than any other province in a given year. But Melanie Armstrong, VP of innovation and insights at Arterra Wines Canada, tells strategy that there was a growing interest in supporting local, even before the pandemic spiked that interest across categories. The Quebec government has committed nearly $4 million towards the Panier Bleu program, an online platform to promote and buy made-in-Quebec products in which the SAQ is a key strategic partner. The platform has also started conversations about what constitutes a “local” product.

“We saw an opportunity for our brands that we sell [at SAQ] and are bottled in Quebec, to synergistically communicate our own message that aligns with what the SAQ is trying to achieve,” Armstrong says. The campaign approach allows Arterra to combine the historical popularity of imported wines with the fever pitch interest in buying local. “You’re getting all the great quality of wine from country of origin and you are adding to the local economy too.”

This is the first time Arterra has used this storytelling approach, deploying it from a portfolio perspective. The wines were grouped together because consumers don’t have high awareness about the local aspect of these wines and, according to Armstrong, it wanted to be able to span various countries known for the quality of their wines. Among them, Cliff 79 is already a relatively big brand in terms of scope and awareness, but the approach also draws attention to newer and lesser known ones Arterra feels have growth potential.

Arterra is hoping to appeal to millennials, which have the greatest affinity for a “locavore” mindset. And the timing of the campaign is roughly meant to coincide with the upcoming holiday season, its busiest three months of the year.

The campaign is currently airing on television with elements on LaPresse+ and social media. It includes 15-second video prerolls, GIFs and carousel images. Armstrong says this “bottled locally” campaign also reflects a reallocation of resources because of COVID: TV is a relatively small piece of the campaign, she says, and there are no shopper elements this time around.

Bob was the creative and strategic lead for this effort, while PHD is handling media and Youville Haussmann Park leading social aspects.