THE MARKETING 100: NATHANSON CREEK: MARK FEINBERG

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Mark feinberg has strong credentials as a risk-taker. He rides motorcycles and flies ultralight aircraft, which he builds himself.

It's only fitting that Mr. Feinberg would have the courage to spearhead the risky launch of Sebastiani Vineyard's advertising for Nathanson Creek.

The ads tout what is usually taboo in such ads-the wine's ability to loosen the inhibitions of the drinker.

"Plan to Be Spontaneous," crafted by Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, is a $5 million TV campaign.

In one spot, a husband wearing only a red bow surprises his wife when she comes home from work. In another spot, a dog sniffs around a bed on a weekend morning, finding nothing. Once the animal leaves, a couple emerges draped in sheets from a trunk at the foot of the bed.

"It was a difficult line to walk," says Mr. Feinberg. Advertising helped bring the wine from sales of zero to a million cases in less than one year-as did the retail price.

While the price of premium varietals crept upward, low-end wines stayed steady. The result was a gap in offerings in the popular price range of $5 to $7 a bottle.

The wine-originally sold exclusively to restaurants-was repackaged and attractively labeled to look like a higher priced wine, Mr. Feinberg notes.

Nathanson Creek filled the void with the right price, at the right time. It also had the right taste, a vintage free of the tannins appreciated by wine enthusiasts but off-putting to the target, a less-seasoned wine drinker.

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