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Beyond the Bale : March 2011
March 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 9 OFF-FARM FAST FACTS lAWI has undertaken the largest ever wool education program in China, aimed at the country's rapidly growing domestic consumer market for luxury goods. l The Gold Woolmark campaign successfully positioned AWI's European fabric partners in the Chinese luxury market resulting in premium value sales of Merino fabric. l The campaign achieved valuable returns from the amount invested in it. Gold Woolmark success in China AWI has carried out the largest wool marketing program ever undertaken in China. Aimed at the rapidly growing Chinese domestic market for luxury goods, the Gold Woolmark campaign aimed to position Merino wool as the prestigious fibre of choice for men's apparel. Unlike in the West, 70 per cent of luxury consumers in China are male. The campaign educated consumers about Merino wool, from the Australian environment in which it is grown to the skilful tailors that complete its journey at retail. Luxury European fabric and tailoring brands united under a common banner for the first time in a century to help sell the campaign's message. Holland & Sherry, Taylor & Lodge, Hield Brothers, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Reda, Dormeuil, Scabal and Johnstons of Elgin became licensees of the highly prestigious Gold Woolmark brand -- a new label that represents outstanding achievement in weaving and knitting of Australia's finest micron wools. This story and heritage of Merino wool as a premium natural fibre was told through a co-ordinated media and retail campaign, including nine, half hour-long television episodes shown on China's luxury lifestyle channel China Business Network (CBN) Style Focus. CBN General Manager Qin Shuo said The Perfect Gentlemen program on the Style Focus channel was a unique program aimed at the increasing number of Chinese with an affluent lifestyle. "The television program attracted strong attention from all social sectors when it was on air, but it especially caught the eye of the elite class," Mr Shuo said. "With the coverage from two platforms of Ningxia Satellite TV and CBN, over 60 million consumers visually discovered the excellence of Australian Merino wool, learned the meaning behind the Gold Woolmark, and experienced the heritage of sophisticated European gentlemen culture." The television program is also being shown on the upper tier airline Shanghai Airlines to its high end and business customers, with an estimated reach of one million travellers. AWI global business development manager Sam Guthrie says AWI was able to create sourcing opportunities for its partners from Europe into China to enable sampling and sales. "This was not only a positioning campaign for our Gold Woolmark partners, orders for Merino have been made and commercial transactions have taken place," Sam says. "Woolmark's reputation as a neutral authority was crucial in developing the CBN coverage and also linking the European and Chinese business opportunities." Although the campaign is nearing completion, lasting business connections have been established. A delegation of Chinese high end garment makers and retailers will travel to Europe next month to visit wool textile manufacturers. More information: www.woolmarkgold.com View a preview to The Style Focus television program on the Woolmark YouTube channel www.youtube.com/woolmarkonline Famous Chinese television presenter Mr Cao Jingxing being shown some Merino wool by woolgrower Paul Vallely of Crookwell, NSW during the filming of "The Perfect Gentleman" television series. THE GOLD WOOLMARK CAMPAIGN IN CHINA By the end of February, the campaign achieved an "influenced audience" of over 316 million people with an advertising value worth approximately RMB 48 million (AU$7.2 million), including: l a 215 million audience for the Style Focus television and retail campaign, with an advertising value worth RMB46.8 million (AU$7.0 million) -- a value on investment (VOI) of 18.7. Over 21 million watched the Gold Woolmark television program itself, five times the ratings of previous years l a 101 million trade and consumer audience for PR and editorial, with an advertising value worth RMB1.3 million (AU$200,000) -- a VOI of 9.7 l a 50,000 audience from a European Worsted Fabric Forum and Workshop, with an advertising value worth RMB800,000 (AU$120,000) -- a VOI of 8.0 l over two million online searches for Gold Woolmark partners.