Fleming’s Prime Directive: Wine and Dine

NEW YORK What’s a steak house that wants to be known for its wine list to do? In the case of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, one of several casual dining brands owned by OSI Restaurant Partners, it turned to branded entertainment.

The Night Agency, a New York-based viral and guerilla marketing firm, created vinevoyage.com, a site that will eventually house video interviews and visits to the all the wineries that Fleming’s uses for its signature 100 wines by the glass feature at its 50 locations throughout the U.S. Launched last week, the site currently has videos of five California wineries, including Wattle Creek and Quintessa.

“The goal was to activate and engage consumers and tell a broader story with one of the differentiators being the Fleming’s 100 wines by the glass,” said Darren Paul, managing partner at Night. “We wanted to tell a deeper story to the consumer where people can learn about the wines that they’ll be trying.”

To that end each of the videos is introduced in a low-key yet informative manner by Marian Jansen op de Haar, the director of wine for the eatery. So far the videos, which range from 2:42 to 5:02 in length, show vintners giving a tour of their facilities and talking about whichever of their wines is available at Fleming’s. The next round of videos, which are currently in pre-production, is expected to include a winery in Chile.

“We wanted some red, some white, some top quality and some middle range wines. It’s part education, part entertainment,” said Paul. “It’s telling a story versus being in your face with advertisements. It’s designed for anyone from a wine novice to a wine enthusiast.”

This is the first work for Fleming’s from the Night Agency, which was awarded the account last year.

In an effort to get the message spread as widely as possible the interviews are up on iTunes, Apple’s music service, and Paul is hoping to get the videos on television as content. “The goal was to have something sticky people can get behind,” he said.