It took KWV nearly a century to make its first television commercial. The Paarl wine and brandy producer wants you to toast it.

The advert reminds one of those Peter Stuyvesant commercials in which the leisured classes go around doing adventurous things and you hardly get to see the product.

KWV manages to slip in a glass of wine and a goblet of brandy right at the end of the advert. One line then ties it all together: “Finish great.”

The advert features three people in vignette – a track athlete, a mountain climber and a musician – stepping on the shoulders of their predecessors. The athlete overtakes a legendary older runner … the musician jams with the ghost of an old sage.

And finally there is a shot of a brandy distiller sharing a moment with another spirit. “Finish great,” says the narrator.

“We want people to own that as a toast,” said Tyrone Beck, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi Brandsrock.

The campaign was 18 months in the making – not that long when you consider KWV has not made a TV commercial in its 97-year history.

The second phase of “finish great” will be led by public relations and will have a strong presence on social media, Beck told The Times.

KWV head of strategy Peadar Hegarty gave Beck the brief to get consumers emotionally involved, to celebrate those everyday achievements.

And it’s not about flogging bottles of booze. “We sell emotion, we sell passion,” said Hegarty.

But South African brandy sales have been nose diving for the past decade. The young and trendy are increasingly switching to imported whiskies.

Brandy consumption is down to 27million litres from an all-time peak of 45million litres.

“Consumers consume image,” said Hegarty.

To stop the decline KWV is polishing up its brand. And “finish great” is the start of it.

Source: Times Live – TJ Strydom