By thelaegotist / /
Creative agency Majority develops first campaign for J-Harden Wines while poking fun at the pretentiousness of the wine industry
Last year, NBA superstar James Harden launched J-Harden Wines in partnership with Accolade Wines to make quality wine more accessible to all consumers. Now, the brand introduces its first-ever campaign: “Work Hard, Play Harden.” The campaign is the brainchild of Atlanta-based creative shop Majority, recipient of numerous industry awards since its 2021 inception.
“Work Hard, Play Harden” centers on Harden playfully challenging the snooty conventions, traditions and jargon infamously associated with enjoying wine, including but not limited to swishing, uncorking, decanting, sniffing and tasting wine. It all adds up to a message of inclusivity and fun, in stark contrast to how wine has been historically perceived, especially by communities of color.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished in our first year of J-Harden Wines, starting with massive success in the U.S., then expanding worldwide, and now introducing our first-ever campaign,” said Harden. “As a Black-owned business owner, I want to make wine more available to all communities. I want people to know they can enjoy some of the finer things in life and do it at an affordable price.”
Harden’s involvement in the J-Harden label goes far beyond an equity stake. Combining his love for fashion, art, style and wine, Harden worked closely with the Accolade team to offer his input on the taste, look and feel that matched his personality. Harden plays a significant role in the wine’s creative direction, design and style. As a 10-time NBA All-Star and third-leading three-point scorer in NBA history, Harden continues to share his wine journey with fans across the country and beyond. This summer, Harden introduced his product line to China, which joined the United States, Canada, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia as countries that distribute J-Harden Wines. With Harden in China for a series of appearances in August, China’s initial allocation of 16,000 bottles sold out in minutes.
“Our sweet spot as an agency is at the intersection of sports, music, fashion and culture, where conventions are being defied,” said Majority CMO Jorge Hernandez. “J-Harden Wines is a brand born at that intersection.”
“James has brought an elevated energy and enthusiasm to the wine industry through the launch of J-Harden Wines and its success over the last year,” said Ming Alterman, Accolade’s marketing director of the Americas. “We’ve accomplished so much together in a short period of time, and the response from his fans and our consumers has been incredible. This campaign is part of our commitment to increasing awareness of J-Harden Wines and making them more accessible in the United States and internationally.”
Available in a California Cabernet Sauvignon, California Red Blend and Prosecco, J-Harden Wines is available through leading retailers across the United States, including Total Wine & More, Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, H-E-B, BevMo! and Target. Learn more at j-hardenwines.com.
CAMPAIGN TITLE: #SWISHTHEJ
FOUNDER + CEO: Omid Farhang
FOUNDING PARTNER + CMO: Jorge Hernandez
CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER: Asmirh Davis
CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): Nico Giarrano
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): Jake Tannery
ART DIRECTOR(s): Barbara Rego
SENIOR DESIGNER: Ojwana Wilson
SENIOR PRODUCER: Christine Presto
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jeremiah Stephenson
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Estefania Calvachi
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER: Victoria Caro Rodriguez
STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Matt McLaren
SENIOR STRATEGIST: Gabrielle Miller
SENIOR STRATEGIST: John Wright
PHOTOGRAPHER: King Lawrence
PRODUCTION COMPANY & CITY: True Story Films, Phoenix AZ
DIRECTOR: Cary Truelick
PRODUCER (PRODUCTION CO): Katelyn Fukayama
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Alex Mitchel
POST PRODUCTION / EDITORIAL & CITY: Copper Post, Phoenix AZ
EDITOR/COLORIST/VFX SUPERVISOR: Robert Beadle
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Lee Ann Cone