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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Wine, Beer & Spirits


One popular movie line kicked off nearly a decade of bad PR for this once beloved grape variety and by 2014, Merlot sales were down to 8% of the domestic wine market.

A handful of domestic wineries got together led by Duckhorn Wine Company and hatched an idea. Use social media to reinvigorate interest in the Merlot varietal. Industry leader, Bakas Media was tapped to engage wine lovers online and offline using #MerlotMe not only as a hash tag, but a call to action.

Strategy and Execution

Using only organic reach through Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook and Delectable along with the mobile optimized micro site, wine lovers answered the call and 'rediscovered' Merlot through the month of October 2014.

Other tools and strategies put to use include targeted links scheduled through Buffer, RebelMouse visual stream embedded on and personalized wood wine boxes with hand picked Merlots for select influencers.



That's how much one winery's Merlot sales were over the same period last year. We weren't able to garner all the sales data from all the participating wineries (many are privately held and don't share financials), but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and wineries that reported sales data, indicated a noticeable increase in sales over the year prior as well as online brand mentions. We wanted to use this campaign to directly impact where the rubber meets the road (sales).

We reached out to influencers with a surprise and delight package consisting of a personalized wood wine box with their name and hash tag engraved on the lid (see photo).

Aside from #MerlotMe showing up as a trending topic on Twitter nationwide, the metrics are dramatic, especially considering it was all organic and not supported by any paid media. Also, this was done by an agency of one person:

64.7 million impressions

4.9 million reached

13.3x amplification


1.4 unique Tweeters

4.7K tweets


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Bakas Media & Duckhorn Winery