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Hardys launches SMS campaign

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hardys - the UK's best-selling Australian wine brand - is launching a new marketing campaign based around SMS text messaging.

Hardys Food and Wine Text' is a service that recommends a grape variety and a wine from the Hardys portfolio to go with any dish the user texts in.

The matches have been developed by a team that includes Constellation Europe's Master of Wine Philip Goodband and Hardys Wine Idol competition winner Olly Smith.

So far hundreds of dishes' from fish & chips to Szechuan beef have been included in the database, which will be regularly updated'.

Clare Griffiths, vice-president brands marketing at Constellation Europe, said the service was launched in response to consumer research that showed that only one in 10 consumers know which type of wine to drink with food.

She added: We will not receive any revenue from the service, the service will not include promotional messages and we will only respond to the consumer's original request - the only information they will receive from us is the recommendation they have requested.

Text costs for the consumer will be a maximum of 12p plus their standard network rate.'

The Hardys ranges included in the service are: Hardys Voyage, Hardys Stamp of Australia, Hardys Nottage Hill, Hardys Crest, Hardys Oomoo, Hardys VR and Eileen Hardy.

Hardys will be publicising the new service through point-of-sale material in outlets, a PR campaign featuring Olly Smith and consumer press advertising.

Cabernet with sticky toffee pudding?

Harpers decided to put Hardys Wine Text Service to the test with ten dishes.

As a service, it is certainly user friendly: you just text the name of the dish plus your year of birth (to ensure you are of legal drinking age) to 64007 and a response arrives within a minute.

The suggested matches themselves were a mixed bag. The suggestions for Thai curry, roast duck and, especially, chocolate (Sparkling Shiraz!) were good, although those for blue cheese, chilli con carne and sticky toffee pudding (Cabernet Sauvignon, really?) were somewhat perplexing.

Steak: Merlot; Nottage Hill Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon

Blue cheese: Cabernet Sauvignon; VR Cabernet Sauvignon

Thai green curry: Riesling; Hardys Stamp Riesling/Gewurtztraminer

Omelette: none specified

Roast duck: Shiraz; VR Shiraz

Chocolate: Shiraz; Hardys Crest Sparkling Shiraz

Chilli con carne: Chardonnay; Nottage Hill Chardonnay

Foie gras: none specified

Sticky toffee pudding: Cabernet Sauvignon; Hardys VR Cabernet Sauvigon