Bronze: Best Product Launch 2015

  • Campaign: Alcatraz
  • Brand: Dead Bolt Wine
  • Agency: Legacy Marketing Partners

Dead Bolt touts itself as “a bold and distinctive California blend that dares to be different.” Clearly a different sort of promotional event was necessary for it to raise its profile among distributors and other industry figures. And what better place for a company with the tagline “Break into it” to host an event than one that many had tried—and failed—to break out of: Alcatraz?

Working with Legacy Marketing Partners, Dead Bolt’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, invited key influencers to San Francisco for a week of activities to launch its latest wines. The kickoff event was a tour at the company’s vineyard—but prior to this, Dead Bolt partnered with a key account, Hard Rock Café, to throw a preparty on the former prison island of Alcatraz.

Leading up to the party, Dead Bolt promoted via social and paid media a contest to find a band to open for its headliner, platinum-selling alt-rock band Young the Giant. This added a consumer element to what was otherwise a trade-oriented campaign: Not only did music fans nominate bands for the honor, but they also voted on the subsequent shortlist of 10 finalists.

The party itself began with the 250 guests getting mug shots taken at Pier 33 before being ferried to Alcatraz Island, where they were given a private tour by National Park Rangers before enjoying cocktails in the mess hall. From there, models dressed as prison guards escorted guests onto a yacht where they could design custom T-shirts, sip more cocktails, and watch Young the Giant in concert, followed by a meet-and-greet with the band.

There were no reports of attendees attempting to escape from the festivities. In fact, Dead Bolt credits the event with strengthening its relationships with key clients.