From ‘Cool’ to Award-Winning

The Michigan Wine Collaborative’s ad campaign gets marketing recognition
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Graphic courtesy of the Michigan Wine Collaborative

Michigan’s award-winning wines deserve an award-winning advertising campaign to promote them — and now they have it.

Just in time for Wine Month this May, the Michigan Wine Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that supports the state’s wine industry, has won a marketing award in recognition of its eye-catching Cool Is Hot campaign.

The inaugural Wine Marketing Awards from Wine Industry Network, a business-to-business resource for the North American wine industry, honor “excellence, innovation, and creativity in the marketing of wine to consumers,” per a press release from WIN. The Collaborative won the Association Marketing Award.

“This award underlines the energy and enthusiasm that has been in the Michigan industry for several years,” says Brian Lillie, president of the Collaborative, in a press release. “This is another example of the world-class recognition that the Michigan wine industry deserves as an emerging region and as the hands-down capital of cool-climate wines in the United States.”

The Cool Is Hot campaign, co-created by Royal Oak ad agency Factory Detroit Inc. as part of the statewide Taste Michigan brand, launched last year with vibrant visuals and snappy messaging on billboards, in print, and online. A radio commercial with a custom dance track added an auditory element to the blitz.

“I applaud not only the clever and distinct positioning of the region and what makes it unique but also the playful use of retro fonts and bright colors,” says competition judge Susan DeMatei, owner and president of Napa-based WineGlass Marketing, via email. “It portrays the wine region as approachable, fun, vibrant, and relaxing — precisely what today’s consumers seek!”

Another competition judge, Jennifer Warrington from Napa-based Wine Industry Sales Education, praised the campaign’s success in sparking interest in the state’s vino.

“The campaign does a great job of encouraging people to try Michigan wines,” she says via email. “It makes me curious to see if the wines match the great campaign!”

As May progresses, the Collaborative is carrying the momentum of this marketing win into its Wine Month festivities. On the docket is Uncork Me Michigan, a wine festival that will be held at Comerica Park in Detroit on Saturday, May 18. Bookending the festival are multiple smaller events that will pair wineries with metro Detroit restaurants and retailers on Thursday and Friday and the second annual Michigan Wine Expo on Sunday at The Royce downtown. Together, the events will make for a full “Taste Michigan Invades the D” weekend.

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