Open gets Lucky in Vancouver

March 23, 2011  |  Alicia Androich  |  Comments

Well-wishers in Vancouver now have a way to publicly support their loved ones thanks to a new campaign that marries traditional media and Facebook over a glass of Australian wine.

The brand awareness campaign for Lucky Penny, a new premium wine by Casella Wines (the Australian company that makes Yellow Tail), allows people to send a message of encouragement through Facebook that will end up on a 44-foot-wide outdoor billboard.

Toronto-based creative agency Open, founded by Martin Beauvais and Christian Mathieu last fall, is managing the digital/outdoor brand awareness campaign for Lucky Penny, which is only available in B.C.

“The campaign is a bit of a closed loop,” Beauvais told Marketing, and is based on the idea of sharing luck. From Lucky Penny’s Facebook page, users can use an app to create a personalized message of luck for a friend that is then displayed on an outdoor digital billboard – the campaign is using five at busy roads and intersections in Vancouver – the next day. (Before the message gets posted publicly, its “receiver” can view it in their Facebook news feed.)

The billboard also posts a message that directs passersby to Lucky Penny’s Facebook page to create their own good luck message for a friend. “We’re using the outdoor billboard media to send people back into the Facebook loop,” said Beauvais.

Open, along with Mike Sharma of digital agency Society, began working with Casella Wines on the campaign in January. One technical obstacle was the virtual transfer of the Facebook messages to the outdoor billboards.

“It sounds like a simple idea for digital information to travel easily between Facebook and a digital billboard, but it’s a bit complex,” said Beauvais. “Astral Media did a fantastic job of figuring it out.”

Part of Open’s philosophy is creating very collaborative relationships with its clients to avoid working in a creative silo. Beauvais said this happened in this case even though the marketer was in Australia and the product distributor was in B.C. Another Australian agency even got involved.

“We came up with the idea and strategy, but [the Australian office of] Razorfish built the Facebook app,” he said.

He adds that part of the success of Yellow Tail and other wines is that “when a good wine hits the shelves, usually it’s word of mouth that makes a wine successful. You don’t really need to advertise that wine that much, hence the Facebook strategy is ‘Let’s get people to talk about it.’”

The four-week campaign launched on Monday. The billboard buy was handled by Wills & Co.

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