Madfish moves to phase two

HOWARD Park Wines has teamed up with WA designer Claire Metcalf to produce the second phase of its American promotions campaign.

The winery launched a longboard surfboard early last year to promote its Madfish label overseas.

The proprietors, Amy and Jeff Burch, believe the surfboard promotions worked and have begun the next phase of the surf-themed marketing campaign by producing 400 bikinis to export to the US.

“This is a progression of the US marketing strategy,” Ms Burch said.

“Americans love our gorgeous Aussie girls and the design that Claire Metcalf has come up with is very innovative, eye catching and extremely stylish.”

The US is seen as a major new market for Australian wine producers, which now dominate the UK and have made big inroads into Europe.

For Howard Park Wines, a niche player with wineries in Margaret River and Denmark, the aim is to expand aggressively from its existing foothold in the US, which already makes up 25 per cent of its market.

“The bikinis will not be for sale but used as promotional items to create awareness of the brand,” Ms Burch said.

The choice of enlisting WA designer Claire Metcalf should help international promotion.

Ms Metcalf said her C Design label had a strong name overseas, and she had taken the newly produced bikini to the recent Mercedes Fashion Week.

“We’ve got quite a good international presence so there was much interest in working with us,” she said.

“They gave me complete creative, which as a designer is great. But their corporate image and icon is great so I didn’t have to do much work.”

And the owners are at the forefront of wine marketing, incorporating an Aboriginal design in the logo, launching a range of merchandising, and continually marketing new ideas.

Ms Burch said that the idea for the surf-theme marketing concept was a development of the brand’s identity.

“Madfish is a young, innovative and trendy wine,” she said.

The brand also has strong surfing roots, with Jeff Burch a long-time surfer.

The name Madfish was chosen after a section of beach in the South West called Madfish Bay.

“The two tides meet and the fish get caught in a whirlpool and start jumping around,” Ms Burch said.

“Or if you like, they go mad,”

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