Crowdfunding campaign turns a crisis into a unique opportunity


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General information

Sector: Alcoholic drinks

Media: Linear TV, DOOH, online, social media

Time period: 2021 – 2022

Case description

In July 2021, the Ahr Valley flooded – 134 people died and the entire region, whose economy depends on winemaking and wine-related tourism, was left in ruin.

Seven.One Media’s creative unit, The Creative House, came up with a unique idea to contribute to the recovery from this disaster. The idea: raising funds to financially support the affected winery businesses, whilst also raising awareness of the relatively unknown wine-producing region as a tourist destination for great quality wines.

Bottles of wine – caked in mud from the flooding and therefore unsellable – were transformed into not only an object of desire, but a piece of history, an emblematic visual of the devastating flood in the Ahr Valley. These bottles were sold on the crowdfunding platform, Startnext. The Brand “Flutwein” – which literally translates as flood wine and, as slang, is commonly used in German for bad wine – was created to unify 50 independent winemakers under one unique label and campaign.

The campaign was created as a business idea and was operated as a start-up model. As the campaign started, the whole infrastructure of shipping the bottles and transferring the donations had to be built from scratch by the ProSieben Group. Partnering with new and unknown individuals and companies and putting 100% trust in them was a challenge for them but also a key for success in every step of the value chain.

Seven.One not only used conventional media channels (TV, DOOH, digital/social) but also the power of their large community and the crowdfunding platform. PR and partnerships were key assets of the campaign. The Creative House Department was fully involved in every step of the development and delivery of the campaign.

A lot of work was done in the spare time of the individual employees – this project truly created enthusiasm at every level of the company. The campaign demonstrated just how a creative idea and open collaboration with a common goal can result in a significant impact. One in 1000 Germans bought a bottle of Flutwein or received it as a present and many of them ordered bottles from the 2021 vintage providing further financial help to the crucial wine industry of the Ahr Valley.

The Creative House developed and delivered the campaign as the newly-founded creative agency department within the Seven.One AdFactory GmbH. Seven.One AdFactory GmbH / Creative House (Lead Agency), WallDecaux Germany & White Rabbit Budapest (Supporting Creative Agency) were all involved.

Campaign results

More than 1 billion PR-contacts, lead to nearly 50,000 people donating by purchasing at least one out of 200,000 bottles. This way we collected over 4.5 million euros in donations for the rebuilding of the flooded Ahr Valley and doubled the brand awareness of the wine region amongst people who got in touch with the campaign. Brand awareness increased from 0 to nearly 50%. The client decided to hire Creative House as lead agency for the further development of the wine region’s marketing.

With more than 100 awards on national and international festivals (including Grand Prix`s at ADC-Germany, Effie Germany, New York Festivals AME Awards and golds at Cannes Lions, Eurobest and London International Awards) #flutwein becomes one of the most succesfull single-entries of Germany. The newly founded Seven.One AdFactory / Creative House finished its first business year as the 3rd most awarded creative agency in Germanies Triple A Ranking for Creative Agencies. In terms of effectiveness the Creative House got listet as #1 in national effectiveness (Effie Germany) and #3 in international effectiveness ranking of the New York Festivals AME.

Campaign video