The Aussie Canadian Club ad converting drinkers globally

December 12, 2018
By Alana House

Beam Suntory Australia’s “Over Beer” campaign has been so successful in converting local beer drinkers to Canadian Club that it’s being rolled out globally!

Trent Chapman, Beam Suntory’s marketing director, said: “Canadian Club and dry’s success shows there is something in challenging the conventional wisdom of beer. This insight rings true all the way to Canada where The Big Question creative, produced by Beam Suntory ANZ, is essentially being used to sell Canadian Club and dry to Canadians.”

The ad was launched last year and features a man sitting at a bar as he whispers to his mate: “I don’t like beer anymore”.

“We were extremely happy and humbled that our local content resonated so well with Australians and even more so to see it making international waves,’ Chapman added. “We pride ourselves on delivering quality creative that is effective and the ‘Over Beer’ campaign is a testament to this.

Chapman said the Canadian screening of the ad came about via a global sharing of best in class creative, underpinned by results being delivered in Australia.

“Beam Suntory now sells more Canadian Club in Australia than any other country including the US,” he said. 

Canadian Club is Australia’s largest dark spirits category growth contributor in both draught and full bottled spirit.

“Canadian Club is dominating the spirits category and is continuing to see unprecedented year-on-year growth.”

Canada testing of the “Over Beer” campaign revealed the best results the company have ever seen for creative on: 

• Breakthrough: high recall and brand linkage.

• Messaging: clearly understood i.e. replacement for beer/refreshment. 

• Extremely strong ad appeal: 80% liked it a lot/ considered it unique, different and funny.

• Positive impact to brand and driving purchase intent.

Winning over North American beer drinkers

Rob Tucker, Beam Suntory Senior Brand Manager North America Marketing, noted: “As we planned for growth on Canadian Club we couldn’t help but notice the tremendous results in Australia. ‘Over Beer’ clearly transformed the brand and business. Not only did Australia’s RTD business grow to three million cases, but also their full spirit business grew and their draught business grew.

Since in North America, the United States is the world’s largest beer market in retail dollar sales, and Canada is third largest per capita, the opportunity to recruit from beer is a big one.

We also fell in love with the ‘Over Beer’ creative, particularly the TVC ‘The Big Question’. So we tested it in Canada and while results were strong on breakthrough, brand linkage and ad appeal, the following results really interested us: 45% of beer drinkers think beer is boring, 74% think Canadian Club is refreshing and are willing to switch from their refreshing drink to our refreshing Canadian Club serve. We then ran a full market test in a large North American city, Vancouver, population of 2.5 million.

“We activated ‘Over Beer’ at retail and on premise, driving strong brand visibility and sampling, and we ran the TV ad province wide over six weeks. Results were very strong: Canadian Club 1858 grew +14.8% province wide in the test and in each of the aforementioned channels sales doubled during the test period.

As for US, recently the TV ad was tested in the state of Wisconsin and it showed a solid mid-single digit consumption lift on 1858.

Now that we have learned that the insight and strategy are relevant outside of Australia, and Canadian Club can be seen as refreshing outside of Australia, we are confident and eager to bring this big idea to global markets.

High hopes for new summer campaign

Canadian Club is hoping to build on that success with a new ad campaign, ‘Who Made Beer the Boss of Summer?’

The campaign builds on the brand’s original ‘The Big Question’ campaign and aims to position as an alternative to beer over summer.

The new ‘Who Made Beer the Boss of Summer?’ ad features a man admitting he doesn’t like beer anymore, but just drinks it because “it’s summer”, while another man asks “who made beer the boss of summer?”

Watch it below:


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