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Local brand, global reach

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Strategy's brand image, capturing the essence of Cloudy Bay

How Strategy used a design-led approach to promote the Cloudy Bay wine brand

Strategy is a design-led advertising agency. It believes brands must sit at the heart of an organisation—driving not just its marketing, advertising and promotion, but also its strategy and direction. This design-led approach means that Strategy creates brands that endure, even as the industry, competition and organisation itself changes. An example of this approach is the enduring strategy the agency built for the Cloudy Bay brand.

One of New Zealand's most internationally recognised brand names, Cloudy Bay sets the standard for the entire New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc category. Owned by Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, all of Cloudy Bay's brand communications are commissioned in Melbourne and signed off in Paris. This means Strategy's work had to resonate with a global market and be of world-class quality to survive this multi-national process.

Setting the scene

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Packaging for Cloudy Bay's 25th anniversary promotion using white-on-white pearlescent print effect

Strategy's relationship with Cloudy Bay began five years ago. Approaching its 25th year, the brand needed to attract a younger audience, while holding on to its original market of early adopters. The agency saw that this could be achieved by giving Cloudy Bay a more contemporary feel, and marketing on a seasonal basis in a way that didn't denigrate the overall brand.

The first step was to run a brand audit. The agency was then able to assess what equity the brand had, and pinpoint any areas of weakness. Taking this information, they developed a strategy for future brand communications. Design-wise, they upped the use of white space to give the brand a more contemporary and premium feel. To advertise, they developed a range of communications built on concepts that reinforced the essence of the brand.

Picturing the brand

Our next step was to flow the redefined brand through all touch points including imagery, packaging, advertising, digital and POS.

One part of the strategy was to create imagery that could be used to promote the brand without being tied to a specific event or varietal. It focused on the unique landscape of the area, capturing images that had emotive appeal and showcased the vineyard in its best light. The highly-crafted images bring to life the misty hills of the label and inject a sense of time and place based in the present moment. For a product based around sensory enjoyment, the visual richness made possible by photography is a key expression of the brand.

Advertising with class

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Display plinth commissioned from David Trubridge representing the concept of connectedness

In order to maintain brand integrity in seasonal advertising, Strategy's solutions had to have conceptual depth as well as visual appeal. They based the promotion for Cloudy Bay's 25th anniversary on the concept of connectedness and the role it plays in both the creation and enjoyment of wine.

To express this idea, Strategy developed an interlinked design solution that was taken through packaging, collateral and POS. It commissioned iconic New Zealand furniture and lighting designer David Trubridge to develop a suite of highly crafted display items. This fully integrated approach reinforced the brand's premium position and created an enduring appeal.

The design-led advantage

Strategy's design-led approach has confirmed Cloudy Bay's status as the category leader while attracting a fresh audience. The agency firmly believes this design-led approach is the single most effective way to create brands that have enduring appeal in a fickle marketplace. Resulting communications have global appeal and deliver a consistent brand message through all channels, from corporate communications to above-the-line advertising. It's this approach that has earned Strategy an enviable reputation for creating brands and developing communications that achieve results and stand the test of time.