The challenge was to introduce Britain's growing army of wine lovers to the upmarket Californian wine brand Robert Mondavi, which was new to the UK. The campaign was also looking to communicate the image of the late Robert Mondavi as one of the wine industry's great pioneers - the "father of Californian wine".
Robert Mondavi worked with the Contents Solution team at Guardian Plus and Guardian Creative, with the project headed by April Knell.
The brand's vision is that love of good wine, food and the arts is "the path to a more gracious lifestyle". So online activity on guardian.co.uk was harnessed to advertorials in The Observer to get the dinner-party conversations going among lovers of wine, food and the arts.
The Robert Mondavi microsite was rich in content to interest the upmarket target audience. It included four videos, presented by a master of wine, Philip Goodband, in conversation with a journalist. There was a wine-tasting masterclass and video features on grape varieties, wine-making and descriptions of the Californian wines. Also on the site, there were ten "knowledge files", containing nuggets of advice and information on classical music, architecture, travel, art, film, pop music, restaurants, opera, theatre and literature.
One of the striking features was a gallery of 20 "secret pioneers" - unsung heroes in areas ranging from electronic music to micro-finance. Pioneers such as the chef Barry Haughton, the first to open a truly "eco-gastronomic" restaurant in Europe. The winner of The Observer Secret Pioneers poll to find the most inspiring candidate was the anti-pesticide campaigner Georgina Downs. These and the other featured pioneers underscored the campaign's mission to educate new consumers about the pioneering Robert Mondavi.
This online activity was reflected by a strong tie-in with The Guardian and The Observer print titles. The "knowledge files" ran as advertorials in OM, The Observer's weekly magazine, over the three-month campaign, and the weekly magazine also featured a 32-page glossy supplement on the "secret pioneers". Pre-promotional support ran in The Guardian and its G2 section.
In addition, there was an online competition, which offered the chance to win a trip to San Francisco for a week, staying in a luxurious hotel and including a visit to the Robert Mondavi vineyard in the Napa valley. There were also links from the microsite to both the Mondavi website and to stockists of the wines.
Online, there were 4.7 million co-branded traffic drivers and 5.5 million sponsored feature links throughout guardian.co.uk, concentrating on the Culture and Life & Style sections.
The results were impressive. The microsite received 19,527 unique visitors, and more than 11,000 entered the competition. Dwell time on the microsite averaged a remarkable six minutes, 38 seconds.
The impact of the campaign was measured among a panel of Observer readers supplemented by a pop-up questionnaire on guardian.co.uk. This showed that awareness of the Robert Mondavi brand increased by 400 per cent, while 62 per cent said they were more likely to consider purchasing the brand, and 41 per cent of guardian.co.uk users who visited the Robert Mondavi-sponsored microsite said they would recommend the brand to friends.
In the words of Clare Griffiths, the vice-president of marketing at Constellation Wines, which owns the Robert Mondavi brand: "The Guardian News & Media campaign was a great success, as it provided the ideal communication platform for raising consumer awareness of the Robert Mondavi brand across Europe."
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