Hardys wine advert

Accolade Wines is launching a major advertising push for Hardys wine

Accolade Wines is launching a major marketing campaign for its revamped Hardy’s brand.

The company has invested more than £2.6m in billboard ads of its ‘Five Generations of Devotion’ campaign, which goes live next week until 1 December, along with a “significant” press campaign running in 28 titles from November until April. Another burst is planned in the spring. A major sponsorship deal is also being finalised.

The ads, which will run in 200 towns, 4,000 proximity retail sites and across the London Underground from 18 November, feature artefacts from Hardy’s 160-year history, including pruning secateurs and vintage blend books in order to evoke its long winemaking heritage. The brand will also be running a nine-month #AllAboutChardonnay campaign to reignite consumer interest in modern Australian Chardonnay.

It is the second stage in the revitalisation of the UK’s number-one wine brand, following a revamp of packaging last month. The new-look packaging includes higher-quality paper to reflect the premium cues of the wine and help consumers differentiate between the tiers, the company said.

It is all part of a broader strategy to push the average sales price of the brand higher, Accolade’s UK general manager Paul Schaafsma told The Grocer.

“There are positive signs to indicate this is working,” he added. “We want to see less sold on promotion, so what we’ve been trying to do is give consumers a reason to buy our products off-promotion by investing in the wine in the bottle and delivering value. Our winemakers work very hard in the vineyard and winery to create products of a quality and style that is appropriate to the UK consumer.”

The brand grew nearly 12% in the 52 weeks to 12 October [Nielsen MAT 12 October 2013], while levels of promotion fell from 82% to 79%. The average retail price has also grown “significantly” in the last three months, he said.

“Essentially this has been healthy growth rather than growing volume through promotion.”

Last month a Watchdog report on supermarket wine prices criticised Hardy’s for its ‘zig-zag’ promotional record.