What happens if you give two wine-loving nerds a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital? They catch a plane to New Zealand, rope in some renowned industry peeps and film an epic TV ad.
It’s the age old business cliche – get a big investment and blow it on a big above the line campaign, but is it the recipe for success or one almighty mistake for one of Australia’s online wine retailer success stories, Vinomofo?
“So we decided to make a big ad, which is a little scary for two guys who five years ago were sitting in their garage hand-packing wine boxes for their first eleven mofos,” says Andre Eikmeier, Vinomofo’s co-founder and joint chief executive.
Following the investment from Blue Sky Capital earlier this year, Vinomofo has developed an aggressive domestic and international business strategy that aims to secure quick growth over six different markets within the next two years, including Singapore, Hong Kong, China Europe, the UK and US.
A schmick TV ad is part of that strategy, for assertive local and global growth. Some of you may have already caught glimpse of the new comical commercial, which I happened to catch on YouTube recently.
Investing more than $4.5 million on a multi-platform strategy between now and the end of the year, Vinomofo’s TV ad titled DECIDE, is the largest above the line campaign the company has ever done. Previously Vinomofo has always relied on social media and digital marketing as the foundation for their advertising and acquisition of new customers.
“Now everyone tells us that TV, cinema, billboards and a big digital campaign is what we need to reach everyone we want to reach. We hope they’re right, but really we won’t know until we know, right?” says Eikmeier.
“We new it was largely going to be a branding piece, then a conversion piece. We were going to have to have the capital invested in it upfront, and then internationally, we knew we wanted to rapidly roll out to new markets and we thought was can turn that up by investing in fast tracking the growth of our audience, our tribe and customers in those new markets, rather than relying on our organic spend,” says Eikmeier.
DECIDE is based around the controversial note of it’s the decisions in life that define you, has some pretty hefty targets for the business; looking to secure an additional 50,000 members, or “mofos” as they like to call them, and significantly revenue boost before the end of the year.
For it’s new ad, Vinomofo has employed a multi-tier media buy covering off free to air and pay TV in both Australia and New Zealand , open-air outdoor advertising spaces nationally, cinema and an aggressive acquisition campaign across digital and social platforms.
Vinomofo’s first large-scale TV ad campaign is positioned around making good decisions. From the small decisions like getting up to go for a run when your alarm goes off and it’s cold and raining outside through to the really big, life changing decisions like the students who stood against the tanks in China’s Tiananmen Square or where you stand on the marriage equality debate.
“People who try Vinomofo tend to like it, and tell their friends about us, and yet there are still so many wine lovers who haven’t heard about us. We wanted to introduce ourselves to the world in a big way, find every person who loves wine in a mofo way and show them what they’ve been missing,” says Eikmeier.
Co-Founders Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry started Vinomofo in 2011. Since then the pair grown the online wine retail business into a $50 million annual revenue and 500,000 members in five years.
In April this year, Vinomofo secured a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital with the aim to bolster rapid domestic growth and support operations in new markets. Vinomofo’s DECIDE campaign is the first large-scale domestic campaign aimed at growing brand awareness and acquisition of new members within Australia and New Zealand.
Vinomofo says it aims to be more than just a wine retailer, but rather create a wine experience that gives consumers an unparalleled offer on curation and value. A hyper-focused quality product selection sourced direct from reputable producers around the world enables it to harness the buying power of their 500,000 strong wine-loving tribe to secure successful deals.