YMI? Keeping It Simple for Sterling Vineyards

It’s hard to get noticed if you make wine in Northern California. The best thing to do, one vintner believes, is avoid lengthy boasts and focus instead on just a few aspects of your product.

Sterling Vineyards does just that in a new $3 million ad campaign from YMI? Advertising that uses graphs and charts to highlight the wine’s qualities.

“This is more progressive in the way it is designed,” said Wes Youngquist, partner and creative director at the Sausa lito, Calif., agency. “The graphics are different, and it stands out in the books because it gets ideas across without any body copy in a streamlined way.”

One ad, for example, features a bottle of cabernet with a graph that reads simply, “Complex nuances” and “Meticulously handcrafted.”

Youngquist said the idea for the work—how exactly to highlight the brand in this pared-down way—came during a visit to the Calistoga, Calif., winery last summer. “They are just little facts and truisms,” Youngquist said. “They gave us a lot of infor mation when we were asking what makes the winery different from the others.”

YMI? won the business in June without a formal review. It succeeded Pickett Communications, San Francisco. The winery was referred to YMI? by another agency.

The ads will run throughout the year in a variety of food and wine publications, including Wine Spectator and Food & Wine.

Sterling Vineyards, founded in 1964, owns and farms some 1,100 prime Napa Valley acres. It produces several red wines, including a merlot, and a small amount of white wine. Its parent company is Seagram Chateau & Estate.

YMI?, which recently changed its name from Youngquist/Marcoccia, has also worked with Paramount Pictures, Red Lodge Brewery and Restoration Hardware. Its total annual billings are estimated at $11 million.