The brief

Three-fold. To successfully launch Morrisons first foray into online, via BWS; to address their £100m under-trade in BWS and transform its relationship with trade and specialist drinks media.

The solution

Soft launch Morrisons Cellar and its Taste Test to key wine writers, consumer journalists and opinion influencers by carrying out one-to-one sessions to bring the new offering to life. Host an official ‘Wine Showcase’ press launch event, to earn the trust of the media and win their support for Morrisons and as a 'go to' destination, to ultimately drive traffic to the website and increase sales. Six months later, hold a second tasting event to launch the 198-SKU Morrisons own brand BWS range.

The cleverness in our strategy was we positioned Morrisons as the consumer champion i.e. do the three-question taste test and you need never again waste your money on wine you won't like. We were repositioning the wine offering in a way appealing to their customer who was not a wine connoisseur but knew what flavours they did and did not like.

We delivered this comms strategy via our team of wine-qualified trade and consumer PR professionals.

The results

Within 6 weeks of its soft launch coverage of was achieved across 47 trade and consumer publications, reaching well over 23 million people. 40 top tier press attended the event, including key wine writers who stayed for over 4 hours.

The own brand event attracted 53 leading drinks writers, including Tim Atkin MW, Victoria Moore, Anthony Rose, Matthew Jukes, Fiona Beckett and Jane MacQuitty, a calibre of journalist never before seen at a Morrisons tasting.

Morrisons wine is growing ahead of the category at +5.1% vs +2.4%. Sales of Morrisons own brand wines accounted for nearly 50% of all private label growth from the multiples for the Christmas 2013/14 period.

"I'd like to thank you for your hard work and commitment to helping us on the journey to achieve our vision for the wine category in Morrisons. It has been a pleasure working with you."

Mark Jarman, Head of Wine Operations, Morrisons