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Classic FM and Laithwaite’s Wine: a case study

Classic FM Laithwaite's Wine website takeover

Great commercial relationships just keep on giving so let’s raise a glass to the partnership between Laithwaite’s Wine and Classic FM.
Singer from Amore with glass of something lovely

Last night’s “Classic FM Live 2013 with Laithwaite’s Wine”, to give it its full name, filled the Royal Albert Hall and was by all accounts a triumph of performance.

The evening was presented by John Suchet and Margherita Taylor and, in a move you won’t see at the BBC Proms, some of the performers, Amore, held glasses of the sponsor’s products in one hand during the evening as they performed a drinking song.

Today the Classic FM website is carrying picture galleries, video stories and written articles so everyone can sample the ocassion, all within a Laithwaites branded ‘takeover’ environment and offering further consumer benefits like free delivery on wine for Classic FM listeners and discounts on a themed Classic FM Live wine case.

Classic FM has also experimented with some short video loops. Appropriately enough for a wine sponsor they’re on Vine.

Tasting Notes

But this commercial relationship goes back further. In the autumn Autumn Classic FM ran a series called “Tasting Notes” in which melifluous actor Simon Callow took listeners on a series of musical journeys around the major wine-growing regions of the world.

Simon Callow, in a studio, with wine.

Each programme exposed a rich knowledge of both the music and the wine and was written in an elegant yet conversational style which made the musical discovery and the introduction of Laithwaite’s products a pleasant and enriching experience, especially in Simon Callow’s experienced hands.

The twist, only permitted under the new Ofcom code, is that Mr Callow could politely suggest a particular wine from each area as he played the perfect musical accompaniment to it. His script explained the characteristics of the area that could encourage both a composer to write a masterpiece and the local grapes to ripen.

It’s a wonderful example of commercial sponsorship that enhances a station’s output by generating imaginative and enjoyable programming that would otherwise not be made. The brand fit is perfect and, clearly, the series was sufficiently successful to lead on to last night’s epic performance in London.

If you want to hear Classic FM Live 2013 with Laithwaite’s Wines it’s on tonight (Friday 26 April 2013) at 8pm on Classic FM.

Pictures: copyright Classic FM