Duncan/Channon Toasts Reverie

Unimpressed with typical ads aimed at the elite wine drinker, Duncan/Channon took a different approach in its first campaign for Clos du Bois.

Instead of boasting about a vintage’s delicate bouquet, the agency’s five print ads show how drinking wine can stir pleasant memories and help one relax.

“I was thinking about what I felt when I was drinking wine when I realized I was reminiscing,” agency creative director Bob Duncan said of how the campaign was conceived. “There’s a great flash of memory that happens when you have a good sip.

“The average upscale wine-drinking citizen doesn’t use phrases like ‘raspberry notes,’ but they all talk about a moment when they have a sip of wine—this ‘ahh’ feeling,” Duncan said.

A $4 million campaign is breaking now in Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit and Wine Spectator. Among the wines featured in the ads are the vintner’s Appellation Reserve and Vineyard Designate labels.

Each ad features a black-and-white portrait of someone drinking wine and a strip of six smaller shots. In one, the main photo shows an older woman sipping a glass of merlot; the smaller images show a girl celebrating her eighth birthday. The headline reads, “Just like that I thought of eight candles and one wish.” Body copy details how drinking a glass of wine stirred the recollection.

“Rich as life” is the tagline.

Zuckerman Fernandes & Partners in San Francisco previously handled the account. Its ads played off the phonetic spelling of the brand: Clo Dew Bwah.

The vintner “felt that the previous campaign achieved some market recognition, but also realized that they were underselling the quality of the brand,” Duncan said. “They felt like now was the time to tell a more nuanced story about the quality of the wines.”

“Consumers have shared with us the idea that wine creates many special moments,” said Ruth Souroujon, director of marketing for Clos du Bois. “The new campaign captures those moments.”

The ads will appear through next spring.

The winery, located in Geyserville, Calif., in Sonoma County, handed its ad account to the San Rafael, Calif., shop in February. The decision followed a review that began with 19 other agencies and involved three rounds of pitches. Foote, Cone & Belding was among the finalists. The account is now Duncan/Channon’s largest.