Molson’s all-Canadian beer case supports the nation’s brewers and Positively Provokes patriotic drinking!
Mainstream beer sales are not about absolute growth in Canada, because sales are declining as more craft and independent beer brands grow. It is all about trying to maintain existing market share.
Molson is a ‘big beer’ company in Canada and is sometimes seen as the enemy of other Canadian beer brewers due to its size, and the perception that through the Molson Coors equal share merger back in 2005, that they were a US-based company, and not quite Canadian enough.
Molson Canadian the brand is also steeped in heritage, and one that has been called traditional and old-fashioned, perhaps not being open to change, and thus has become irrelevant for the next generation of drinkers.
With 2020 delivering a difficult year where everything changed, including the closing of a significant revenue stream in the on-premise bars and restaurants, we knew that maintaining share would be tough – but perhaps we could support the wider Canadian beer industry, and not just ourselves. Because we’re all in this together.
While Goliath in the David and Goliath story is a bully, giants can also use their size for good.
The pandemic had crippled the local beer industry for those that weren’t able to react quickly to alternative routes to market once store fronts and bars were closed. Molson had rapidly propped up and supported Ecommerce delivery solutions for some of their brands but they weren’t scaling quickly. Molson Coors also has a broad portfolio of other Canadian brands that weren’t as sought after in 2020 as consumers reverted to trusted and known beer brands for comfort.
With July 1st – Canada Day – rapidly approaching, a day typically associated with great Canadian fanfare and outdoor celebrations, we needed a hook that could bring levity and joy to Canadians, even for a short time.
What if Molson Canadian invited other hard-up brewers across Canada to distribute their beer in special cases? Thereby giving them a national platform for exposure and support, putting aside differences for the summer for the greater good of the Canadian beer industry.
They supply the beer, Molson Canadian takes care of the marketing, distribution and sales.
(Oh, and also a chance for other lesser-known Molson brands to feature in the case too!)
There is a time and place for every Canadian beer, especially this year. Let’s Make It Canadian.
The campaign began by publishing an open letter from owner Geoff Molson to all Canadians in a national newspaper, highlighting Canada’s proud brewing heritage. He called on Canadians to celebrate by joining together as a community and enjoying a Canadian beer regardless of the brand. The letter concluded by inviting big and small brewers to join Molson Canadian in creating a truly Canadian beer pack, and to make Make It Canadian this Canada Day.
The message launched simultaneously across video, display and social, with content designed to spark conversation about the launch of our pack. Everything was clickable, allowing consumers to head to the site for pre-purchase once other brewers joined us. The Most Canadian beer pack itself was rebranded to show multiple different logos and had a few partner brands included to round out the 24 bottles.
Conversation on social media went rampant, with a mix of both anger and praise across the industry. Molson Canadian baited the other rival big brewers and cheered on the independents who came along for the ride. All a stark change from the traditional approach in years past.
The news picked up steam nationally, with coverage in mainstream media outlets as well as beer enthusiasts. The brand manager was interviewed live on national TV and the story played out in popular culture due to the topics of inclusivity, beer and true character during a health and economic crisis. All very Canadian.
We concluded the campaign the way we started it, with a thank you from Geoff Molson across print, social and video.
The message of Make It Canadian poured out some tasty results – Molson Canadian share of the beer market increased by 11% during the campaign period, a huge reversal of normal stagnation for big beer brands in Canada.
What Molson Canadian had to say struck a chord with Canadians,as the campaign achieved 28.7MM earned impressions – enough for every single Canadian of legal drinking age to see the inclusive beer case at least once. The Make It Canadian beer pack sold out, with participation from 40 different brewers from coast to coast.
The brand stood up for all Canadian brewers during a difficult time and acted the way a true leader should; by setting the example.