In recent months, we've spent more time at home with others, imbuing personal relationships with an intensity that seemed unlikely pre-pandemic.
Open Wines' latest campaign from Bensimon Byrne acknowledges this dynamic, presenting everyday folks who share deep feelings and concerns with important people in their lives.
First, Mac praises his brother Seth for showing strength and resolve when he came out as transgender:
Next, Marie thanks her mother Lynn for providing unconditional love and guidance:
Finally, daughter Kavitha celebrates her mother Mathusha, in a spot addressing cultural themes and family dynamics:
Bensimon Byrne selected its subjects from among 20 finalists after soliciting submissions on social channels pre-pandemic.
"These three stories were chosen because the individuals were open to sharing something deeply personal in the hopes of inspiring other people towards acceptance of someone in their life who might be needing it," agency partner and executive creative director Joseph Bonnici tells Muse.
The Toronto shop's innovative social-awareness initiatives have won considerable acclaim. These include a pop-up restaurant and massage therapy spa staffed by HIV-positive individuals. Tagged "When we open up, we let life in," the new work brings a PSA sensibility to the branding realm, an approach Bonnici believes will set Open Wines apart.
"This is a brand with a strong millennial following," he says. "And as open as millennials are to a rapidly changing world, one of the insights behind the campaign is that millennials, more than other generations, might have trouble expressing their feelings for fear of rejection. There's a fear of vulnerability."
"There are few products that actually help lower barriers to this—wine being one of them," Bonnici says. "But for this brand, it's really rooted in the name. The Open brand has always stood for expression, whether it be emotional or artistic, but the new campaign really focuses on a particular aspect of expression that can lead to a deeper bond between two people and ultimately acceptance."
For some, that premise may feel like a stretch. Even so, it's an intuitive one that leverages basic truths about the product and human nature. Plus, the affecting stories do tend to linger on the palate.
"I hope people will take away that we live in a difficult world, and we all have our difficult journeys that we are on," Bonnici says. "Any chance we have as people to make someone else feel accepted and loved, when they are vulnerable, we should take that opportunity to make them feel supported."
Client: Arterra Wines
Brand: Open Wines
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer: Andrea Hunt
Vice President Marketing: Wendy Montgomery
Brand Manager: Jayme Donohoe
Senior Brand Manager: David Patton
Associate Brand Manager: Whitney Collins
Agency: Bensimon Byrne
Partner/ECD: Joseph Bonnici
CDs: Gints Bruveris/David Mueller
ACD: Lorne Covant
Writer: Sam Ramsay
Art Director: Amy Fernandes
Producer: Caroline Clarke
Brand Lead: Chris Roop/Meghan Schroeder/Laura Robinson/Aviva Togman
Project Manager: Jenny Guth/Alex Ireland/Stephanie Niro
Strategy: Stefan Gerard/Jorge Aguilar
Production Company: Soft Citizen
Executive Producer: Link York/Rob Burn/Jaclyn Morga
Director: Henry Lu
Line Producer: Joe McLaren
DOP: Farhad Ghaderi
Photographer: Jennifer Roberts
Casting: Jigsaw Casting
Post Production Offline: Rooster Post Production
Producer: Melissa Kahn/Alanna Homuth
Editor: Michelle Czukar
Assistant: Jordan Giles
Transfer: Alter Ego
Colourist: Eric Whipp
Post Production Online: Fort York
Producer: Armen Bunag
Flame Artist: Melissa Vasiliev
Audio House: Berkeley Inc.
Producer: Tyna Maerzke
Director/Engineer: Jared Kuemper