Instagram star Murad Osmann, whose “Follow me to” photo series has 3.4 million followers has shot an ad campaign for Napa Valley winery Beringer Vineyards.
The “Better Beckons” campaign follows the same photo style Osman is famed for, with his wife Natalya pulling him by the hand towards beautiful and interesting locations.
The “Follow me to” series began in 2012 and was reportedly sparked by Osmann’s wife Natalya Zakharova’s impatience with her photographer beau, who was constantly stopping to take pictures on their travels. The often-dreamlike shots have involved Mrs Osmann wearing increasingly opulent and location-specific outfits all over the world. Her face is never seen as she reaches behind to her partner, pulling him towards exotic destinations. Their engagement was announced in a photo, which shows a ring being proffered to her outstretched hand. The Moscow-based couple were married in June in a lavish ceremony, and of course the bride led the groom down the aisle.
The “Better Beckons” series for the Treasury Wine Estates-owned brand sees the couple visit The Rhine House at Beringer Vineyards, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fire Island Lighthouse, as well as a yacht, and rooftop in New York City. An accompanying film shows just what lengths the Osmanns have to go to in order to create the perfect shot.
Ben James, executive creative director at agency JWT New York, who, along with head of art Aaron Padin, led the campaign, says that they arrived at the Better Beckons positioning because of Beringer’s history. Two brothers, Jacob and Frederick Beringer, founded the winery in 1876 after moving from Germany in the belief that great wine could be made in the Napa Valley.
“That’s really a story of American optimism,” says James. “They went all through Prohibition, they’re the ones who invited Hollywood to Napa Valley, they’re the ones that made Napa Valley and going there a thing. They’ve always been about better. That’s why we landed it at ‘Better Beckons.’ Beringer wanted to explain that’s what they’ve always been about.”
Explaining the collaboration with Osmann, James says, “We had been fans of Murad’s work and the way he and Natalya invite you into those worlds, it’s a really natural fit.”
Padin says that it was essential to actually work with Osmann rather than try to recreate his style. “When you’re dealing with a main guy, an Instagram star like Murad, so many people would try to lift or replicate what he does,” says Padin. “But it was very important for us to actually use him. He’s an authentic person about what he does and so is Beringer, so we wanted to make that merger happen.”