Richards Connects Woodbridge

The Richards Group showcases the versatility of Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge label in its first television ads for the client.

In one 30-second spot, directed by John Mastromonaco of Bravo Zulu in Houston, the left side of the screen shows a man walking into a surprise party, where the revelers are drinking Woodbridge wine. On the right, a man opens the door and is surprised by a seductive woman who has wine waiting for him. Onscreen copy reads, “Welcome” on the left and “Do not disturb” on the right. Separating the two phrases is a picture of a bottle and the word “Bridge.” Voiceover narration: “Many moods, many occasions. One wine always connects. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.”

Another 30-second commercial called “Girls” targets women. Two 15-second versions will run on national cable stations in a $10 million push breaking Wednesday.

Five print executions are scheduled to appear in Travel & Leisure, Cooking Light and InStyle, among other consumer publications.

The brand campaign also in-cludes radio and interactive ads.

The strategy behind the spots is one of three the Dallas independent agency pitched to win the estimated $10-15 million account in May.

“The strategy originated with the name itself and the idea this wine bridges a lot of occasions, people and different types of situations you might be in,” said Richards creative group head Mike Renfro.

Renfro said his group decided to break from the traditional way of advertising wines “with a lot of clichés.” “We said let’s show the situations in which the wine would be used but not in a way that appears phony or set up,” he said. “I think we managed to inject some humanity into it.”

Renfro said the idea for the TV campaign originated with the print effort. Each ad contrasts two objects ( a strappy after-five wom-an’s shoe and a flip-flop, for example) separated by a Woodbridge bottle and the copy “Bridge.”

Woodbridge wines, which retail for $20 or less, make up one of 14 labels produced by Mondavi.

The Napa, Calif.-based winery spent $11.6 million in 2001 on advertising, according to CMR, but only $30,000 this year.

Richards won the account earlier this year in a review against co-finalist Deutsch/LA of Marina del Rey, Calif.