Spotted! Arterra shows its new wine’s roots

The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright intentionally made its debut in an unconventional place.

Launching a new brand into market always requires some sort of boldness. Arterra Wines Canada already had more than one blueprint up its sleeve for the launch of its newest wine, the Audacity of Thomas G. Bright, but the Canadian company opted for a launch strategy that would match its name.

The new wine, named The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright, launched earlier this month, timed with one of the most wine-friendly events in Toronto – TIFF.


Audacity made its big debut through an experiential marketing effort in Toronto’s PATH near Roy Thompson Hall. Launched last week, the brand created a makeshift “wine cellar” in the underground area. Planters have been placed along the walls, growing grape vines throughout high-traffic walking areas, positioned against murals to create the look of a large vineyard. Roy Thompson Hall was at the epicentre of TIFF, but remains a high-traffic area for professionals and tourists in addition to festivalgoers.

Audacity wasn’t an official sponsor of the festival, although DentsuBos copywriter Megan Kras tells MiC the star-studded event is an ideal opportunity to catch the eye of festival-goers who undeniably have vino on the mind. And, for many brands, ‘unofficial’ TIFF campaigns that still involve adjacent activations are just as valuable as a full-on TIFF sponsorship.

Kras says despite the importance of Bright in the world of Canadian wine, he’s not a household name. Bright was the company’s original namesake, having founded the Niagara Wines Company in the late 19th century. During that time, she says, Bright was the first person to successfully grow grape vines in Canada.


Thus, she explains, the idea of “growing wine in an audacious place,” much like Bright did all those years ago, was what gave birth to the fantastical underground vineyard.

It also features a key, unique OOH display – ads made from barrels containing the wine as it ages. Kras says DentsuBos (which worked in tandem with DentsuX on the media plan) is still determining what to do with the wine once it’s finished, but they have “high hopes” to do something equally “meta and a little bit weird.”

Although Bright’s legacy is centered around the Niagara region, Kras says the media plan has to focus more on Canada, broadly. Beyond the underground vineyard, a media buy has activated around the TIFF-adjacent area of Toronto. It also had a major presence around the Vancouver International Film Festival, and a media buy has gone live in the Vancouver region as well.

The media plan features more conventional OOH, which Kras says is customized to the areas it’s in. For example, she says, King Street-placed OOH ads in Toronto use the phrase “As audacious as banning cars on King Street,” a reference to the 2018 King Street Pilot project which eliminated much of the car traffic on the street.

Social will be the other component of the buy, both in terms of long-term and targeted social ads as well as more interactive, game-ified ads. The brand will have an “Instagram tour,” which will have hidden numbers near the brand’s OOH ads. Each number will correspond with an Instagram post where people can learn more about the wines.

“It’s all about adding an extra layer of interactivity,” says Kras.

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