Noble Fellows: A wine best experienced.

Work alert

How irreverent digital thinking refreshed the Noble Fellows brand.

With its distinct blend of Kiwi wit and Shakespearean flavour, Noble Fellows (under the Pinnacle drinks umbrella) is revered as a rich, unique and immersive New Zealand brand. 

But when turning to tech-savvy Millennials and Gen X, it was clear that Princess Petunia (the Rosé), Baron Betsy (the Pinot Gris) and the rest of the stable needed to break the category’s conservative conventions to find a new way to connect with them. 

Kudos to Pinnacle Drinks’ media agency, Carat, who broke fresh ground when working on a tactical April Fools’ campaign for the brand. Carat proposed a partnership with LADbible, wanting to go with an unexpected, satirical twist on traditional food recipes and wine pairings. But when we came on board to help design and execute the visuals, the campaign quickly developed into what would become the brand’s most successful piece of marketing to date (if we do say so ourselves). 

Much like the brand’s original tone of voice – its quirky take on Shakespearean English – we developed an aesthetic that juxtaposes its renaissance-inspired packs with a bright, street art-esque intervention. It allowed us to bring the personality of the brand to life through the characters and use them to add some mischief to the mix. In a nutshell, the characters formed part of a suggested food pairing which they then defaced and altered to save themselves. 

For the first time, the characters came to life in the eyes of the brand’s emerging wine-drinking audience. Behind their perfectly poised renaissance poses, there now was a voice and point of view. And, through the power of social media and digital, suddenly, the Noble Fellows had the power to engage with people and spark a rather relevant-irreverent conversation. 

Pinnacle Drinks wanted to push the boundaries and create a bit of disruption with this campaign to cut through the category. So, with the idea cracked and our brave client on board, we set about producing a bank of digital assets (including digital animations). This was supported by a host of strategically placed traditional media (such as street posters and digital screens in malls) allowing us to connect with both the brand’s existing and newfound audiences, and point them to the nearest physical or digital point-of-sale. 

Did it work? Don’t take our (or even the quirky characters’) word for it. The results of our partnership with Carat media and our client speak for themself: 

  • The LADBible ROS display we used over-delivered on objective by 62.94%, delivering a total of 1.37m impressions 
  • We delivered a total 1,169 clicks through to BWS at a CTR of 0.09%, reflecting an engaged and interested audience 
  • Noble Fellows delivered +12% over planned impressions, and +2% for the instagram story 
  • In the first week alone, our post received 1.2m impressions (well above the 655k target) and, comparatively for Noble Fellows, we delivered +26% for our article and +18% for our instagram story 
  • Total activity reached 2.3m people at 1.8 times 

What we love most about this campaign is how it goes to show that in a crowded marketplace, sometimes even a great product with a brilliant brand story and beautifully designed packaging can go so much further with the right digital strategy and experiential thinking. If you want us to put our brains to your brand’s success, you know where to reach us.   

Author bio


Ambitious achiever and avid traveller, I have over 10 years’ experience across the Australian, UAE and North American markets. My passion lies in true collaboration with brands & partners to break boundaries and deliver holistic, innovative and meaningful experiences, both on and offline.