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Australian wine brand, 19 Crimes, is using an online video to attract more male customers. (19 Crimes)
Australian wine brand, 19 Crimes, is using an online video to attract more male customers. (19 Crimes)

Persuasion Notebook

Watch: Thugging up a wine brand Add to ...

Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail’s marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe's marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.

Perhaps it’s all the froufrou jargon, but wine does not exactly have a bad boy image.

One brand is trying to change that. Australian company Treasury Wine Estates has launched an ad campaign in Canada for its wine brand 19 Crimes.

The name comes from the list of 19 violations that, in 18th-century Britain, would get you shipped off to the penal colony in Australia. The labels feature black and white mug shots of real-life criminals who were handed that sentence.

The campaign, developed by Toronto-based agency Giants & Gentlemen, is designed to target young men by giving wine a more irreverent image.

That is a growing trend among alcohol marketers, who are using hyper-masculine ad campaigns to convince Millennial men to broaden their drinking habits beyond beer. That strategy has been most prominent in whisky marketing, such as in the ads featuring the “Canadian Club Chairman.”

Now wine is in on the macho marketing trend. 19 Crimes’ Canadian campaign began this month with an online video that presented a mélange of a Food Network-style cooking how-to and a lesson in ways of making someone talk.

The amusing video entitled “How to Braise a Lamb Shank and Get Mickey to Tell You Where the Goddamn Money Is,” features a debonair mobster executing a perfect meal while threatening to execute the young mug who stole money from the cash register at his strip club. The creative is also being considered for use in Australia.

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