Bravo to Yellow Tail

August 19, 2004

yellowtail_adyellow_tail “Makers of Best-Selling Wine Begin First Adverting Campaign,” was the headline of York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott’s In Advertising weekly email Tuesday.

Brilliant. Exactly how successful branding is accomplished today.

Yellow Tail arrived in America in 2001. The first year Yellow Tail sold 200,000 cases. The second year they sold 2.2 million cases. This year they are on track to sell 7 million cases.

How much did Yellow Tail spend on advertising to achieve this tremendous growth? Not one dollar. Instead strong word of mouth fueled by PR was responsible for their success.

Yellow Tail is not only the best-selling Australian wine in America, it is also the No.1 imported wine beating out over 6,500 rivals.

Is now the right time to advertise the brand? You bet.

When you are a leader, you should use advertising as a defensive strategy against competition. You use advertising to reinforce your brand message and leadership position.

One of the biggest mistakes many brands make is not using advertising when it is really needed. Anita Roddick built The Body Shop into a powerful brand. In the 80’s the brand had enormous buzz, word-of-mouth and power. The Body Shop experienced explosive growth. Then things hit a wall.

A brand can’t live on word-of-mouth and PR forever. At some point the brand loses its talk value. That is the time you need to jump in with advertising. And advertising is something the Body Shop has never done. Anita was morally opposed to it. The Body Shop eventually fired Anita, but it was probably not soon enough.

So, hurray to Yellow Tail! (The Shiraz is my favorite, by the way.)

Another brand building success story to add to our presentations.