At last year's Super Bowl LI, Yellow Tail pulled off something that hadn't been done in nearly three decades: Place a wine ad during the U.S.' most-watched event of the year. Anheuser-Busch InBev gained exclusive national rights to alcohol ads during the game back in 1989, and wine, like the Dolphins, Vikings, Jets and Chiefs, had not been spotted since. But the Australian winery's importer and distributor Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits skirted the AB InBev monopoly by spending millions on local ad buys across most of the country. This Sunday, Yellow Tail's cast of party animals triumphantly returns to the airwaves, and the star marsupial is looking better than ever, thanks to a high-tech makeover.
“We don't have any other spots where we’re [focused] this tight in on the Roo, so we overlaid CGI on top of the animatronic Roo to make him more vivid and lifelike,” president of Deutsch Family Tom Steffanci told Unfiltered of the new Roo. “It was fascinating, these folks absolutely mimic every little detail of a real kangaroo.”
The 30-second spot continues the theme of Roo and his friend, Yellow Tail Guy, popping up in unexpected places—in this case, a surprise party—with a glass of wine in hand. Harald Zwart, the director behind 2010’s Karate Kid reboot and Capital One’s Alec Baldwin ads, crafted the spot. This year's campaign is even more ambitious than 2017's: Deutsch placed the spot in 80 local markets to reach an estimated 100 million viewers, up from 70 markets and 85 million viewers. This year, Yellow Tail also fired up a food truck to make a loop around the country with Food Network chef/Sandwich King Jeff Mauro pairing the wines with gameday snack concoctions. The price tag: around $10.3 million, with about half of that going toward the Super Bowl airtime.
But Steffanci contends that's well worth it, based on last year's win. “[The campaign] came out of the gate like a rocket,” Steffanci said. “We had the best two growth months we had had in many years": back-to-back 8 percent monthly growth for the brand in January and February.
Throughout Yellow Tail’s yearlong effort to make big plays on Anheuser-Busch's turf, the beverage giant has remained mute. Meanwhile, Deutsch Family is pushing for a more inclusive approach from the networks.
“We’re little, you know; we get that we’re quite a small player compared to the sort of dollars that they have,” Steffanci said. “Part of the idea is hopefully to get the networks to think about not giving away this exclusivity … I don’t know of any other category—if you were buying soda ads, you usually aren't able to lock out all other non-alcoholic beverages. So it’s an awful big stretch [to say] that Yellow Tail is competing with Anheuser-Busch. We don't see it that way.”
Apparently, you can't chuck a basketball into a Golden State Warriors crowd without hitting a well-known vintner. That's a lesson player Kevin Durant learned the hard way when, during a pregame warm-up before Saturday's game, he punched an errant ball skyward. As Durant may or may not have known physics dictates, the ball came hurtling back down into the crowd—specifically into the face of none other than Bronco Wine Co. founder Joseph Franzia.
Durant rushed into the stands to apologize to the California vintner. Franzia, for his part, kept things in perspective, reportedly telling Durant he'd better win the game for the Warriors after what had happened.
Maybe that was the push Durant needed; his team beat the Boston Celtics 109-105. Postgame, Durant and Franzia celebrated the win together in the Warriors' locker room, where Durant signed a pair of shoes for Franzia. In return, the Two Buck Chuck purveyor invited the star forward to have some wine with him at his winery. And thus, another wine-and-sports friendship is formed.
Beer and hot dogs—or wings and clams—won't cut it for chef and New England Patriots supporter Oscar Martinez this Super Bowl Sunday. The toque at Doma Land & Sea, a kosher restaurant in the Long Island town of Cedarhurst, "wanted to do something extravagant for the Super Bowl," he told Unfiltered, and to show off his best ingredients. Hence, the "King Doma," a $1,000 pastrami sandwich: 28-day dry-aged prime beef short ribs coated with an Indonesian Luwak coffee pastrami rub, garnished with $100-per-pound foie gras, white truffles, Champagne-infused French mustard and gold flakes, served with a glass of Champagne Louis de Sacy Brut Rosé NV.
Martinez, who hopes to see a sixth Lombardi Trophy for the team that holds the record for biggest fine ever imposed by the NFL for cheating, led by a man who holds the record for biggest fine ever imposed on a coach for an entirely different incident of cheating, told Unfiltered that so far he has sold three of the sandwiches, with a fourth on order for the big day. No word on who the big-spending snackers are and where they identify on the spectrum of "Tom Brady is the greatest athlete of all time" to "Tom Brady is the greatest human to ever live."
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