Marketing 50

Yellow Tail

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There are more than 7,000 wine brands in the U.S.-and that doesn't include French, Italian or Chilean vintages-but over the past four years Lily Volpe and her team at importer W.J. Deutsch & Sons have exhibited the agility and speed of their kangaroo logo to hop right over several of them.

The Yellow Tail brand has gone from zero to more than 7 million cases in 2004, picking up the title of No. 1 wine brand by dollar volume in the U.S., according to A.C. Nielsen.

Ms. Volpe, 36, senior brand manager, seeded Yellow Tail as a discovery brand spread primarily by word of mouth and an under the radar campaign. Advertising aimed at influencers had the line "Now spotted outside Australia" and "Have you spotted it?"

When the brand moved to more traditional advertising, its efforts included a partnership with the Independent Film Channel's Tuesday movie program, now called "Yellowtail Theater." But its more recent efforts had fun with the yellow tail logo. Print ads created by Cramer-Krasselt/Hampel Stefanides, New York, featured a lobster and a comet with a yellow tail. And this summer airplanes with banners-and tails painted yellow-buzzed beaches from the West and East Coasts to the Great Lakes. An outdoor and print effort is under way in almost a dozen magazines ranging from Wired to Vanity Fair.

As the brand's popularity grows, Ms. Volpe's biggest challenge is maintaining the Yellow Tail kangaroo's punch. "We made it to the top quickly," she says. "Now everyone is aiming at us."

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