Jacob's Creeks' spectacular 'Open' film series featuring Andre Agassi has kicked things up a notch this year, producing a heartwarming and highly polished series of films.
Now in its third series, the online films continue to captivate as they shine a light on Agassi’s career, his life and his family.
The formula of Agassi in a studio sharing tales from his past continues, however, this series also takes a more cinematic approach employing recreations and location shots to enhance the storytelling.
There are currently four films in market ‘The Stars’, ‘Magic’, ‘Big Jim’, and ‘The Road’. These films feature Agassi’s father Mike Agassi and wife Steffi Graf, alongside trainer Gil Reyes and brother Philip Agassi, who both featured in series 2.
The films are being broadcast by Channel Seven around the Australian Open coverage and online and have also screened at Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne Park.
The latest series has also been "Shazam-enabled" to allow viewers to access the other films in the series via the Shazam app and their smartphone or tablet.
The series, which first launched in 2012 to promote Jacob’s Creek’s global tennis sponsorship, aims to reveal the true character of tennis and its stars, in a bid to “mirror” the true character of the brand’s wines.
Securing Agassi was a major coup and the quality of the content and the production values led to broadcasters acquiring the series to integrate into their live broadcasts of the tennis.
The films were broadcast into 75 million homes across Asia, in addition to being aired at Melbourne Park Tennis Centre and on Qantas flights. The brand enjoyed an 18% sales increase year on year, according to its case study.
It’s no surprise that Jacobs Creek is sticking with this winning formula, which is fast becoming something consumers will look at for as part of the Australian Open coverage.
The 'Open' film series has been a spectacular success for the Jacobs Creek brand and a masterclass in branded entertainment.
Firstly in cementing the brand’s involvement with the game globally and secondly in creating one of the strongest examples of the potential of branded entertainment, to date.
The coup of getting Agassi to ‘open up’ was a big one and it is one that continues to pay off for the brand.
He is authentic, open and honest. He is genuine and real, as entertainment goes the content is superb. There is character and strength and all the good qualities you look for in individuals.
All three series reveal great storytelling that is informative, entertaining and enlightening. The strategy that Jacob's Creek aims to reveal true character comes across strongly through this execution.
I’ve always loved the sense that Jacob's Creek was the enabler, of this wonderful conversation. There’s something very appealing about the idea of opening a bottle of wine with great company and letting the great conversation flow.
This series captures that idea, and then some, and it is this strategy that continues to strengthen in each series as more great storytellers enter the fray through Agassi’s family.
The artistry has been stepped up in this latest series with the cinematic recreations and staged shoots. It adds another layer to the storytelling and it increases the films entertainment credentials.
These films now look and feel like bone fide short films, they are not long ads or brand films, these are short films funded by a brand: this is branded entertainment at its best. I get a sense there will be broadcasting rights and DVDs after this series.
However, in evolving the series into this year’s more cinematic style, I feel a little bit of the magic has been lost.
A huge element of the charm of the first series was its raw, stripped back style. Here was tennis legend Andre Agassi, alone in a studio staring down the barrel of the camera and speaking openly and honestly about himself, his career, his achievements.
It was personal, authentic and genuine. The emotions were real and palpable and this was reinforced in the set-up.
In contrast to that, this latest series is highly polished and scripted. It is suggestive and persuasive, the music is loud and emotive and the viewer is left with little doubt that this is supposed to move you.
Don’t get me wrong, I think these films are brilliant and I appreciate that the format needed to evolve and to grow into something else. But, this slick approach does take a little of the authenticity away and replaces it with stylised entertainment. The naturalness has been edged out slightly to make way for scripted intros that set up the stories.
However, it is testament to Agassi and co, and to the people behind this, that despite the scripting and high production elements, these films continue to delight and entertain. The storytelling is compelling and viewers are easily captivated by the subject matter.
Jacob's Creek have excelled at creating a genuinely entertaining series of films, that continue to captivate audiences. Not only does this work as entertainment, it also fits the brand and fulfills strategic objectives. What's more it has demonstrated a direct impact on sales and driven awareness of the brand's tennis sponsorship.
A spectacular achievement by Jacobs Creek, which continues to showcase the immense power of branded entertainment when it is done right.
I give it 5 stars.
Brand: Jacobs Creek
Creative Company: CumminsRoss