Was that Kim Kardashian in a Boone's Farm T-shirt? Yes, it was. The socialite is just one of many trendsetters to sport a T-shirt touting the quirky brand. Boone's Farm, the fruit-flavored, inexpensive wine launched in the 1960s, is in the midst of a revival.
Three years ago it launched its "Bring Boone's Back" marketing effort. The goal was to make the brand relevant among influencers. Its marketing tool of choice: the T-shirt. Style-conscious celebrities, deejays and members of the press were seeded with a high-end logoed shirt, which is also available at upscale retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue.
"The branded Boone's Farm T-shirts are an effective marketing tool because they serve as walking billboards for our brand," says Kammy Dosanjh Chahal, assistant marketing manager of E&J Gallo Winery, which owns Boone's. "Simply using posters and serving product is great, but easily ignored by consumers."
Looking to broaden its tongue-in-cheek outreach, the brand partnered with the '80s-inspired, Tony-award-winning Broadway musical Rock of Ages. As a sponsor, Boone's was integrated into pre- and post-show activities.
This year, Boone's Farm also struck a sponsorship deal with the 2009 Air Guitar Championship. The tour traveled throughout U.S. cities in search of the person who can "rock out the hardest on an invisible guitar." Samplers clad in hot pink Boone's Farm shirts handed out drink cards promoting Boone's Farm and its newest flavor, Sunshine Pink. The "Boone's Farm Girls" also swept balloons, confetti and other debris from the stage in-between acts. Contestants received the shirts as well as samples of the product, which they were seen chugging on stage, backstage and on the tour bus.
"The presence of the samplers moving through the crowd in bright pink T-shirts was impossible to ignore, and it helped to have the hosts, a focal point of every show, wear the shirts as well," says Chahal. "Air guitar talent wore the T-shirts on TV appearances, which extended the Boone's Farm presence. It created a common theme and made our presence and co-branding undeniable."