Ernest Gallo
A marketing genius, Gallo targeted the “low end” of the wine market when he introduced Thunderbird in the 1950s. The marketing strategy was a resounding success, and Gallo sold an unprecedented 2.5 million cases of the wine in less than a year. In 1985, Gallo introduced Bartles & James wine cooler, a new wine product, selling 2 million cases, and helping the company to exceed an estimated $1 billion in sales that same year. The commercial characters Gallo created to pitch his new wine cooler to the public, Frank Bartles & Ed Jaymes, became advertising icons and lead Gallo to capture the top-spot in the wine cooler market.