brand and bottle

Sovio Crowdsources Wine Labels

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 9, 2010 10:00 AM

In a move echoing Domino's "improve our pizza" campaign, UK-based Sovio Wines is turning to the public to turn its wine labels from drab to fab.

Sovio's competition, which is accepting entries through the end of the month, is seeking "innovative and unconventional label designs" to jazz up its good-for-you reduced-alcohol red and white wines.

Crowdsourcing, of course, is the flavor du jour for brand marketers these days. Sovio, which has been around since 2005, when it launched with the mission of marketing a ‘New Generation Wine,’ wants its new-look packaging to communicate that its wines are may be lighter, but they're also aromatic and flavorful and less intoxicating.

With alcohol levels ranging from 5.5% to 8% alcohol, instead of the typical 13.5 – 14.5%, the line also boasts fewer calories – about 50% fewer.

A unique ‘cold vacuum’ distillation process developed by Sovio’s sister company, TFC Wines, removes alcohol from a proportion of the wine, then reblends it with the rest and the final product is less-alcoholic wine. The TFC logo appears on all bottles as the brand's seal of approval that each bottle meets its standards for method and quality.

"We felt that a competition for artists, art students and illustrators in general would be the best way to achieve this as most of them are most likely not working in the wine industry and can come up with unbiased, fresh and unconventional ideas for our product," Helen Lentze, TFC's marketing manager, told Marketing Magazine.

The wine is made in Napa Valley by David Stevens, who says it’s a “lighter alternative…easy-going option for mid-week drinking." The brand endured a protracted legal battle over its UK launch – at issue was calling the low-alcohol product a wine rather than a ‘wine-based drink.’ Sovio is available at Tesco and Premier convenience stores.

The design competition, which is free to enter, offers a top prize of roundtrip airfare for two from London to San Francisco, and five nights double occupancy in a hotel.

One caveat: only UK residents over 18 can participate ... but perhaps a side-trip to Napa Valley to see the Mother grape makes it all the more worthwhile.

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Mike Klein Canada says:

The graphic design profession deserves better than this. Perhaps we should start crowdsourcing our legal needs?

Contests are exploitation.


August 9, 2010 09:24 PM #

Christian Jensen Canada says:

How a company could place such a critical part of their products success in a process relying on a random smattering of non-professionals* who are neither invested nor engaged in the relationship, the process, or the outcome ... is hard to get your head around.

Perhaps Sovio should step back and think about this.  Did the great wines, or should I say, best known wines of the world, get that way because they put an ad on Craig's List for artists wanted?  

The answer, of course, is no.  Successful branding of a product or organization is a careful marriage between highly experienced (and yes - well paid) Creative Directors, Art Directors, Illustrators, Marketing Strategists who have proven their abilities time and time again.

As a creative professional, I don't like this at all.  But this isn't about me. This is about selling wine. Could Sovio stumble upon a creative genius who's biding their time working at Starbucks and create the hottest brand ever? Possibly.  But if there's one lesson that's been forgotten the most through time, it's that you get what you pay for ... and the best tend to cost the most ... no mystery there.

Sovio will get what it 'paid' for, and the results will be precisely what they will be.  If they decide the results did not match expectation, and they hire an experienced professional creative team next time, then the proof is indeed in the pudding.   Mmmm pudding....

*Professionals are paid for their time and skills

August 10, 2010 10:11 AM #

S.Shayon United States says:

Mike and Christian,
Where then do you see the value of crowdsourcing?
S. Shayon

August 10, 2010 10:36 AM #

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