Arterra premiumizes its Inniskillin and IMBZZL wines

Two brands with very different legacies get overhauls that emphasize the quality available at an affordable price.

Inniskillin has been around for decades, while IMBZZL was launched just last year, but Arterra has given both wines re-imagined looks to emphasize their premium status.

Arterra Wines recruited Toronto design agency Jacknife to freshen up Inniskillin’s appeal to young wine enthusiasts and shift perceptions to the brand being a more premium, modern and recognizable offering.

Inniskillin’s new look and positioning is being debuted in OOH ads that concede that the wine – and others like it from Canada – wasn’t a critical darling at first, and that “critics used to turn their nose up” at one of Arterra’s more affordable offerings, whereas now they “stick it right in.” This approach builds on past campaign efforts for Inniskillin by Bensimon Byrne, in which it told the 70s origin story of the founders in a movie trailer, from dismissed newcomers to success stories. 

On the design side, according to the agency, it experimented with bold colour palettes and premium finishes, pushing category conventions and differentiating the brand’s VQA table wines and icewine from each other​ – and ​the competition.

Kim Norwich, Jacknife’s CD, says that Inniskillin’s iconic emblem held equity and needed to be carefully considered from the start. “Ultimately, we modernized and simplified the mark through subtle tweaks and refinement, intentionally making it the brand’s hero while remaining connected to its original essence,” Norwich says.


“Furthering this new brand tonality, we wanted to ensure our packaging reflected the timeless quality of Inniskillin but with the swagger it deserves,” says Angela Yang, senior brand manager for Inniskillin at Arterra.

She tells tells strategy there will be top of line marketing coming for the brand this year, and it will continue to tell stories about its award wins – like IWSC’s 2021 sweet wine producer of the year – and that it’s products are still relevant today. The new packaging design is rolling out now in stores at Wine Rack, LCBO and at the Inniskillin Niagara Winery Estate, touching across its Estate, Discovery and Ice Wine tiers for the rest of 2022.

While Inniskillin has a long legacy in Canada, Arterra’s IMBZZL launched in 2021, the product of Laughing Stock Vineyards. The name – stylized as a variation on a stock symbol – is a play on both “imbibe” and “embezzle,” befitting the founders’ stockbroker backgrounds and the times we live in.

While the name might conjure up images of underhanded financial tactics and Ponzi schemes, that’s actually something Arterra is learning into – positioned as a “sneaky steal,” or a premium wine at a reasonable price. Its varietals continue on this five-finger discount theme with Fast One (red), Double Cross (white) and Ruse (rosé).

10. IMBZZL_Series

“The Secret Steal” according to the shop, sets the tone for the brand and inspiring a more-than-meets-the-eye approach to design, with a “sleek and stealthy, financial-market-inspired aesthetic” that celebrates getting away with a great deal.

“The key consideration was to create a bold impact with packaging to make it stand out in the premium wine category,”  says George Kakaletris, VP of marketing, premium brands and estates at Arterra, adding that it will be promoting IMBZZL via social media, influencer marketing and retail marketing, to reach a new audience of younger wine consumers still finding their way through the complex selection of choices at retail.

9. IMBZZL_Series