WINE MAKER MONDAVI TO BREAK NEW CAMPAIGN

$15 Million Effort Is First From Richards Group

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- The Robert Mondavi winery next week launches an estimated $15 million broadcast, print and Internet campaign for its Woodbridge brands that is somewhat of a departure for wine advertising.

One new spot employs a split screen, with one side showing a group of women at a dinner party drinking wine and the words "Girls Night Out," and the other a woman alone painting her toenails with wine on hand and the title "Girl's night in." A voice-over states, "Many moods, many occasions. One wine always connects. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi."

Social settings
Wine makers in their

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advertising usually show groups of people enjoying their product in social settings such as holiday parties or seated around the dinner table. Solitary drinking tends not to be a theme in wine ads, though beer ads have been known to show a lone drinker kicking back to enjoy a cold one.

The campaign is the first from winery's new agency, independent Richards Group, Dallas.

The commercials will run on national cable TV, while print breaks in December issues of magazines including Travel & Leisure, In Style and Cooking Light, among others.

Second shop
The Oakville, Calif., winery in September hired a second shop, independent Venables, Bell & Partners, to handle advertising for its higher priced Robert Mondavi wine brands. The Woodbridge and Robert Mondavi brands previously had been at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles.

In 2001, Mondavi spent $12 million on advertising, $11 million of it on Woodbridge, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Earlier this year, Mondavi CEO Gregory M. Evans told analysts he intended to increase ad spending to enhance brand image.

The campaign comes at a time when vintners have begun to feel the effects of the economic slowdown, and a number have realigned their marketing strategies and agencies.

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