Cannes Lions

Tasting Notes: A Story of Sound and Wine

LEVERGY, Johannesburg / NEDBANK / 2023

Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Content






Nedbank, a supporter of the wine industry through our sponsorship of the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) (a society of SA’s top winemakers aiming at driving transformation in wine), is known for hosting an auction event to aid CWG’s development programme.

South Africa’s reoccurring alcohol bans during lockdowns devastated the industry, resulting in 29,000 jobs lost and R5.7billion loss in sales.

This also meant the auction event couldn’t take place. So, in its place, we set out to determine how we could democratise wine, take it to a wider audience and help address the damage inflicted.

We thus set ourselves a challenge: to use our sponsorship to illustrate to our key audience that Nedbank cares deeply about their passion for wine. As a result of this, we aimed at entrenching our purpose of ‘seeing things differently for positive outcomes’ for customers – leading to client retention and uplift in brand perception.


Data from Oxford University showed that it has been proven that sound has the ability to alter taste. From this we deduced that the right music would be able to positively enhance the key tasting notes in a glass of wine – and thus the tasting experience as a whole.

So we asked: could we pair the two in a way that would capture the public’s imagination and, in the process, expose wine to a greater audience?

The answer: Tasting Notes: A Story of Sound and Wine, facilitated a collaboration between winemakers, composers and neuroscientists to create a piece of music which literally pairs with any Cabernet Sauvignon (the universal varietal); using science and creativity to transform the way people interact with wine – by actually enabling them to taste music notes.

The outcome: A piece of music scientifically proven to use music notes to enhance wine's tasting notes.



Cabernet Sauvignon was chosen for the experiment being the universally available grape varietal.

Flavor Mapping:

Our first step - work with five CWG winemakers to determine the prominence of flavours and how these develop over the drinking of a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. This determined our ‘tasting map’.


In order to underscore the experience of a glass of wine, we needed to translate our tasting map into an instrumentation map. We gathered data by fitting the winemakers with electroencephalography headsets to detect engagement levels and emotional responses during rounds of sensory tastings. The neural activity was collated; creating a data map. This data was translated into a mean average; showing the winemakers’ shared experience.

The data allowed us to plot peaks and valleys along the timeline of the tasting. This would translate into peaks and valleys along the timeline of our song, defining our musical journey.


Our brand experience journey was designed around optimal interaction with the Tasting Notes soundtrack and wine.

This was initiated by a hybrid event introducing Tasting Notes to media and clients taking place at one of South Africa’s leading wine farms for limited key invitees and broadcast through a bespoke interactive microsite. It featured all involved in the creation process, wine experts and Nedbank representatives. Attendees were guided through the unique tasting and given a platform to debate the music’s effects on the wine and its potential to change the industry. A Tasting Notes Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled for the event and gifted to attendees.

From there the music was used to catalyse at-home tasting experiences:

Song was uploaded to major streaming platforms.

Film and website unpacked the creation process.

Visual video version of the song guided viewers through the tasting on YouTube.

PR, social and influencers helped amplify the experience.


Tasting Notes resulted in the largest audience ever for a Cape Wine Makers Guild initiative, with 95 earned local coverage pieces each reaching an average of 810,000 people; 4.8 million campaign video views with a R0.20 CPV and 402 thousand streams on Spotify. A 44.1 million global social reach with a CPI of R5.20 outperformed the industry average by almost 10x.

PR coverage received 88% prevalence of key messages across the campaign with comment from a Nedbank brand representative featuring in 75% of all coverage.

95% of coverage was deemed positive with 5% receiving a neutral reaction.

Outcomes from those aware and engaged with the campaign:

92% perceive Nedbank as more innovative

86% value the bank more highly now

80% of Nedbank clients said they are more likely to stay with Nedbank

56% better understand Nedbank’s purpose of ‘seeing things/money differently’

94% more aware of Nedbank’s involvement in wine

62% likely to drink wine more frequently in the future

92% more aware of CWG’s work

And the wine industry? They are now on the road to recovery, with Tasting Notes contributing to a 25% increase in YOY sales.

Similar Campaigns

12 items





(opens in a new tab)