The Tops & Tales concept (www.topsandtales.co.za) was originally developed in 2010, in response to an increasingly challenging environment for alcohol advertising. The site is essentially an innovative social media platform that enables women to organise and manage book clubs (called chapters in the Tops & Tales universe) with their friends, while allowing TOPS an unprecedented strategic and targeted marketing opportunity.
Teri Fynn, client service director at Habari Group, elaborates. ‘”The reaction to Tops & Tales has been huge, with wine farms, book and magazines publishers wanting to collaborate on the platform. Most importantly, the initial objective was to reach 100 registered chapters (book clubs) within six months. Ten weeks after the launch, there are already 220 registered chapters. If you consider that each club consists of around 10 members, you can begin to see the potential of Tops & Tales,” she said.
The innovative digital platform was created by Habari Direct and TBWA in Durban, both of whom understand the consumer and have the ability to create a tool that not only benefits the client, but which the consumer wants to use and actively engage with.
TOPS is now investing more into the platform to drive the Tops & Tales concept, with the aim of making it the only place for book-mad South African women to share their love of books, wine and, yes, a bit of gossip too.
The Habari Direct team conceptualised an additional four sections for the online destination: the book lounge; the cellar, The kitchen and events.
The book lounge is all about books, where members can express their views, read reviews and share their tales. A real-time book list ranks members’ best recent reads and links users directly to www.exclusives.co.za where they can purchase recommended reads.
The Cellar tells members everything they need to know about wine, including reviews, events, recommendations and competitions. And because every good wine deserves an accompanying food, the Kitchen section provides members with everything from recipes to horror stories to advice on how to cook up a storm for their chapter without breaking the bank.
Finally, the Events section features related food, wine and book events of interest to members.
The result is an online destination that offers a rich and rewarding experience for women belonging to book clubs. Furthermore, Spar’s relationship with its target market is stronger than ever, thanks to simple, effective messaging tools that can be tailored on a macro level to individual chapters.