Sherry Council of America
Federación de Bodegas del Marco de Jerez (Fedejerez), the trade organization for all Sherry producers of the Jerez region of Spain, hired CLS to manage a multi-year campaign to reinvigorate the image of Sherry wines in the United States. The trade group realized it was not engaging with media and consumers consistently – particularly online, which resulted in missed opportunities to promote the product. The client recognized that engaging consumers in the digital space would be an important and effective way to promote Sherry.
CLS began its work by conducting extensive public opinion and focus group research to determine consumer attitudes towards this misunderstood wine and test what messages would resonate with wine enthusiasts and younger consumers. With the results of this research in mind, CLS created a new entity called the Sherry Council of America to serve as the definitive resource for information about Sherry. As part of this effort, CLS launched a separate marketing campaign called the “Secret Sherry Society,” which used viral tactics, such as a cutting edge website, e-alerts and videos, to entice consumers and wine experts alike to enter into this exclusive club of those who are “in the know” when it comes to wine’s best kept secret — Sherry wine. Following the launch of the website, visitors created their own profiles and secret identities within the Society. To further extend the reach of the new group, CLS created a Secret Sherry Society presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. With these websites, CLS reached out to wine enthusiasts with article postings, event notifications and “Secrets of the Week.”
Within months, users created hundreds of profiles leading to a 450 percent increase in web traffic from inception to the end of the year. CLS conducted extensive media outreach for activities ranging from media dinners with food and Sherry wine pairings to a journalist trip to Spain. These efforts generated a great deal of “buzz” in the food and wine world and led to several dozen top-tier stories about Sherry’s “comeback” in the U.S., including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and National Public Radio. Additionally, CLS connected with almost 2,000 people in the wine industry through the “Secret Sherry Society” and Sherry Council Facebook pages.