Woodbridge Wine to Woo Women

The Richards Group’s upcoming campaign for Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge label will target “wine casuals,” typically women less interested in a vintage’s pedigree than its ability to elevate a simple dinner or a relaxing evening with friends.

“We want to break conventions in wine advertising,” said Rich-ards principal Diane Fannon. “It’s not about sitting in a canoe with some guy in the middle of a pond. These women want to see the way they use wine reflected realistically in their lives.”

The Dallas agency, led by Fannon, defeated Deutsch/LA in the finals of a review last week to win creative and media duties on the estimated $10-15 million account.

Incumbent Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., did not advance to the final round of the competition. Earlier contenders included GSD&M in Austin, Texas, and Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco. The process was overseen by Richard Roth Associates of New York.

“We chose The Richards Group because we like the way they approached the entire branding process,” said Dennis Joyce, senior vice president at the California winery.

That approach was demonstrated in five meetings between Rich-ards’ pitch team and Mondavi. Four sessions were held at the Napa Valley vintner, the other in Dallas.

“We got to see how we worked together,” said Fannon. “There was no posturing. We worked through issues and fleshed out our insights as to the role branding played with the target audience.”

Woodbridge is Oakville, Calif.-based Mondavi’s best-selling brand, accounting for approximately half of its $500 million in sales.

Fannon said specifics of Rich-ard’s upcoming television and print campaign, set to break later this year, are still being refined.

Prime-time TV and print work in periodicals targeting, but not exclusive to women, will be the primary campaign media.

“It will be very much about brand building,” Fannon said.”This is a promiscuous category. People going into liquor and grocery stores are overwhelmed by allthe labels.”

Robert Mondavi experienced more than an 18 percent sales increase in the competitive California wine market in 2001, according to Hoovers Online.

The competition also enjoyed sales success. Beringer Blass Wine Estates, for example, registered an 87 percent gain to more than $820 million last year.