New CEO joins California North Coast beverage branding agency

by Hannah Turner
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California North Coast

As part of a partnership with an East Coast company that specialises in digital marketing for beverage and other brands, a branding, package design, and marketing company with offices in Vallejo has hired a new principal and CEO.

Notable wine and spirits manufacturers are among the company’s clients.

The Mare Island-based Affinity Creative Group stated in an email on Thursday that Ari Rollnick had been designated CEO and joint owner of the company with co-founders Dave Miller and John Swain. In addition, Rollnick founded and serves as CEO of Kabookaboo Integrated Marketing in Miami.


The six months in the making arrangement’s specifics weren’t made public. However, the email states that initially, it will be a strategic partnership for brand building, site and content creation, digital marketing, and “omni-channel activation services” for the luxury, consumer goods, professional services, and wine and spirits sectors.

Rollnick told Business Journal that the roughly 30 employees at both companies combine Affinity’s strength in brand development with Kabookaboo’s strength in digital marketing. This will allow clients to move projects for his more than 250 brands, which the base represents, back and forth between agencies depending on the skills required, he said.

“What we are now talking about between our agencies is expertise in connecting on-premises and off-premises,” he said. “This is a more powerful capability to capture what is happening in the tasting room directly into our customer relationship management database, feeding many types of digital and traditional tactical marketing.”

The North Shore winery began in mid-March 2020, and for most of the next 12 months, after California health regulations shut down his tasting room, he quickly realized he needed to dive into digital marketing. I noticed.

“Digital marketing and e-commerce opportunities for boutiques and large wineries are critical to brand health these days,” says Rollnick.

Rolnick said there is no clear timeline for the next phase of the partnership as the owners of the two agencies are “very patient.”

“At the end of the day, it would be wisest to somehow integrate the two agencies,” Rolnick told his Business Journal.

Miller and Swain founded Affinity in 2013 as a brand development product of PackagingArts, based in Mare Island. The latter he started in 1995 developing and sourcing retail and direct-to-consumer packaging materials and equipment for the beverage industry. Affinity’s Managing Director, Ed Rice, will remain in this role following the merger of the two agencies.

Rollnick said he launched Kabookaboo in the spring of 2001. The name comes from a line from a nursery rhyme written for his late brother Joshua. The agency’s website advertises E&J Brandy, Gallo His Family Vineyards, Anchor His Brewing, and Black His Velvet His Whiskey work.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction, and real estate. He was a contributor to San Francisco’s Bay City News Service before joining Business He Journal in 1999. You can contact him at [email protected] or 707-521-4256.

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