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Wellies. Anoracks. Beanies.

Whether it’s the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality, hand crafted wines. So what happens in the middle of winter when the vines are bare and the fruit is bottled?

Winter is coming

Who doesn’t love the glow from a flickering fire, or pulling on a beanie and a woolly jumper? Or how about a game of jumping puddles? Winter is the time of year that can drive those less adventurous indoors. However, if you’re up for blast of icy arctic air and a few drops of driving rain in the face, it can be a rewarding time to visit the Geelong region’s amazing vineyards. Welcome to the Winter Shiraz Festival.

Greater than some

The Greater Geelong wine region is diverse. Whether you venture north, south, east or west the region has a wide range of vineyards, each with their own unique cellar door experience. Visitors can explore the diversity of the stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria’s finest cellar door experiences.

Hand picked

Geelong’s family owned wineries maximise their wine’s potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines, allowing the distinct regional characters to develop. Whether you love a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, an aromatic Pinot Noir or a gutsy Shiraz, the region displays a wide variety of distinctive wines.

Variety is the spice of life

Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley have a warm, continental style climate. The Surf Coast is famous for its long, summer days and cooling ocean breezes, perfect for early budburst and rich complex flavours.

Winter is here

Getting people outdoors can be challenging during the colder months. The Winter Shiraz Festival (WSF) is all about enticing visitors to the region’s vineyards on the weekend of 8 –9 July. For the 2017 WSF we partnered with our client Wine Geelong to create a new approach

to promoting the annual festival. We identified three key audiences to attract to the event: wine enthusiasts, tourists and visitors to the region, and low involved wine drinkers looking for authentic experiences during the winter months. Key to this year’s event was to create a new campaign look that considered the broader context of evolving the dated Geelong Wine brand and their premier event festival Toast to the Coast, held on the first weekend in November.

People with purpose

Driven by the consumer insight that people who attend wine festivals already understand what a vineyard cellar door experience is, we decided to step away from the dated and expected look from past years’ campaign collateral. We wanted to shake it up and design

a campaign based on a strong call to action. Our solution was a narrative-based creative approach around interchanging words including, ‘Winter’, ‘Sip’, ‘Weekend’, ‘Gather’, ‘Laugh, ‘Wine’, ‘Wellies’, ‘Food’ and ‘Music’. Combining these words with a distinctive and modern colour pallette and simple illustrations signaled a bold new direction, and a move away from the tired and expected past approach of photos of vineyards and people sipping wine.

Social drives engagement

No more is this true than in the events space. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook drive awareness and sharing prior, during and after events to assist build audience awareness and participation. Experience is
the key and understanding how to effectively use social media is a key driver for success. To better understand the tensions and opportunities for engagement, we considered three questions.

- What are the barriers for entry?
- What are the opportunities to break down the barriers?
- How will creative thinking connect wholeheartedly, and emotively engage with your target audience in a distinctive way?

Bringing it to life

Fundamentally, if we get our strategic thinking right, the creative ideas and execution is a smooth linear process. A wide range of collateral was created for the Winter Shiraz Festival including brochures, website, EDMs, social media activity, an events guide and a range of posters and banners. Fluid provided our service pro-bono and sponsored the 2017 Winter Shiraz Festival event.