William Hill Social Strategy

How a classic wine brand became the toast of new enthusiasts


William Hill, an E & J Gallo brand, is a premier estate winery located in the heart of California's Napa Valley. Celebrated for their award-winning Chardonnays and other fine white and red wines, they offer sophistication in a bottle at reasonable price points.


Facing stagnant sales and a loss of brand awareness, William Hill urgently needed to bring back the classic glass of Chardonnay and extend the wine’s drinking season. But in a crowded market, they needed to distinguish the varietal while still holding true to the essence of their brand.


Content Strategy, Social Strategy, Design, Copywriting, Photography & Video Production, Analytics


Food & Beverage


After thorough research and evaluation, Rhythm crafted a social strategy that helped William Hill “make chardonnay cool again” by reconnecting with its primary audience and establishing a distinctive new presence with emerging young wine enthusiasts.

The Power of Social Media

In today’s interconnected world, social media is one of the most popular tools new audiences use to familiarize themselves with a brand. By scrolling through their social feeds, individuals can quickly discover new brands to admire and products to try.

In William Hill’s case, their social presence (Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest) wasn’t resonating with followers, so Rhythm conducted research to determine how we could reignite passion for this classic brand.

Doing the Research, Knowing our Audience

Before diving into the campaign, we needed to better understand our new target audience.

Pulling a sample of Instagram followers from William Hill and its competitors, we used several social media tools and databases to determine who our audience was, what sparked conversation for them, and how they interacted with their peers.

Our research ultimately shed light on what they liked, what they wanted, and how they behaved.

Blending Digital with Retail

Taking our new analysis and William Hill’s existing creative vision, we crafted a social strategy while:

  1. Incorporating William Hill’s brand calendar seamlessly
  2. Working with the team to incorporate the winery tasting and retail experience
  3. Remembering to keep William Hill “top of mind” during the reseller experience

Connection that Pairs with Life

Our social strategy had to support William Hill’s overarching creative strategy: true sophistication through simplicity.

Previous campaigns focused on the simple joys of a romantic connection. However, we pivoted away from romance and towards more common everyday connections with friends and family to really promote a different sense of closeness.

Adapting to New Circumstances

COVID-19 brought new and unexpected challenges. With William Hill’s onsite winery intermittently closed to guests, their social strategy needed to match the sociopolitical environment while staying true to the brand.

Quickly adapting to evolving circumstances, we created content that didn’t seem so far removed from everyone’s day-to-day experiences while still inspiring guests to visit the William Hill tasting room (when it was open to outdoor visits) and to share those moments of connection safely.

While we couldn’t invite guests to the winery at all times, our posts still evoked the elegance and atmosphere of their beautiful location in a tasteful and responsible manner.

We always wanted their audience to experience the same exhilaration and awe, so we worked to emphasize the lush scenic beauty through every caption, snapshot or story.

Pop The Cork!

During unprecedented times, we adapted to new circumstances to produce a relevant and resonant campaign. The steadily rising social awareness and engagement was well worth toasting.