Promoting Maltese Wine Cultivation

Agricultural Department
Wine Bottle

The brief

Bringing fizz to the Maltese wine-making industry.

The Ministry for Sustainability, Development, Environment and Climate Change commissioned Keen to create a two- year brand awareness and public education campaign championing Maltese wines and celebrating our vintners excellence of wine cultivation. Although Maltese wines are winning business overseas, the local market share remained lower than hoped-for. A decade ago Malta introduced the wine quality scheme framework, which is linked to the EU regulations allowing vintners and wine producers to flag certified wines by the Directorate of Agriculture as either DOK or IGT wines. The ‘Wines of Distinction ’campaign comprised multiple objectives; to promote the range of high-calibre wines made throughout the Maltese islands to the local public, to educate on the importance of DOK & IGT certifications and celebrate the specialism of the skilled local labour who produce these wines. Our multi-purpose campaign had to incorporate five key messages, each tackling a different concept and focusing on a unique aspect of the winemaking journey; from the vintner’s expertise growing the vine and the superb environmental conditions in Malta and Gozo for cultivation, through to the production of our extensive range of quality wines.

The challenge

Maximizing recognition of DOK Malta, DOK Gozo and IGT wines

The greatest problem we encountered was that Maltese residents were buying foreign wines without even considering the local products. Foreign wines were aggressively marketed locally with competitive pricing and varieties to choose from. Our team had to revolutionize the local perception and facilitate appreciation for the local produce, reinforcing the dedication that our vintners have towards this labour.


An integral part of the campaign had to involve persuading local consumers and retailers that Maltese wines should be respected as cultivated with diligence, ultimately of same or supreme quality than its foreign peers. Encouraging the public to champion Maltese wine  culture and be proud of the local excellence was phrased the ultimate goal in the long-run.

The strategy

A multi-faceted approach

Our preliminary research into the sector and the audience helped substantiate the two-year ongoing campaign and its comprehensive marketing plan ‘from the vine to the wine’. Our Wines of Distinction Campaign had to adopt an integrated marketing approach, using an extensive range of complementing offline and online marketing efforts: from billboard adverts, radio and TV ads, gif ads on news sites, magazine ads and placed editorials, PR efforts through to strategic targeted social media campaigns, alongside a series of events, aimed at different age groups. Our five key messages were transmitted in user-oriented concepts,  championing regional wine cultivation and upholding the integrity of Maltese/Gozitan wines, simplifying what IGT/ DOK certifications actually mean and why they are important; and generally promoting local wine culture, expertise and traditions.

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Message 1

Launch of Campaign
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Message 2

Related Certification
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Message 3

The Local Wine Process
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Message 4

The Local Industry
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Message 5

Tradition and Culture

Setting out our strategy.

Thorough research and planning facilitate that good campaigns become great ones. Setting out the right strategy with precise targeting specifications as per defined segments and measurable KPI’s empower desired results to materialise. Holistic media booking, scheduling for concept creation and neat project management with involved stakeholders paved the way.


Visualizing our objectives.

Once the seeds were casted, our creative minds could get to work producing the required marketing resources involved to execute our 360°marketing campaign. Sharp, informative and engaging visual and audio-visual content has been produced to convey the core messages of our five concepts.


The Power of 5!

It was time to pop the cork and launch our five concepts strategically as per communications plan over a two-year time span. Our team built and captivated audiences, drove awareness, facilitated public education and genuinely sparked local wine enthusiasts to choose local. Empowered by digital insights, stage evaluations and stakeholder’s feedback, our team could enhance the individual campaigns along the way to achieve higher.

The execution

Heard it through the grapevine… changing perceptions

We kick started with our research and planning phase, moving forward to the brand concept and design of campaign logo. Once concluded, our creative minds and marketers put their heads together to work on the five core messages to disseminate the different concepts, bringing these to life and enhancing the campaigns. Keen’s team worked closely with the Ministry and the wineries to organise a first of its kind, large scale public Wine Appreciation Event where 11 wineries joined forces to endorse Maltese wines, enabling retailers and consumers to meet vintners and sommeliers, and taste the diverse selection of Maltese and Gozitan wines. We coordinated the event, produced promotional merchandise and created multimedia presentations for each winery participating the event. Our digital team meanwhile focused on the desired exposure on social channels and local news portals to promote the event and other initiatives such as the Open weekend ‘Wine Trail – Meet the Vintners’ assuring a great participation.

The result

A sparkling success

Cheers to an increase in sales of Maltese wines and more distribution to local restaurants. The public response to our widespread national campaign has had a fantastic impact, generating beneficial exposure of our local wines amongst the Maltese audience and further increased understanding and recognition of the value of DOK & IGT labels which certify our local wines.

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