Sleeman focuses on craft for new campaign

Who: Sleeman Breweries and The&Partnership.

What: A new brand positioning and ad campaign using the tagline: “Here’s to craftier thinking.”

When & Where: New packaging started rolling out last month and the ad campaign just launched on TV, with elements on digital and social running through the summer.

How: The TV spot shows various people being crafty, coming up with clever “beer hacks”—like making ice cubes from Sleeman beer or turning a can into a popcorn maker—all while singing “I feel crafty” to the tune of “I feel pretty.”

Why: Craft is obviously the key here and the subject of some clever word play. While “craft beer” remains a huge thing in brewing and consumer tastes these days, Sleeman isn’t saying it is a craft beer. But it is celebrating crafty (ie. clever) thinking and craftiness by showing people making things by hand with Sleeman product. The life hacks theme will be a focal point in social with people encouraged to share their own life hacks.

So is Sleeman a craft beer? Well, no. Sleeman is Canada’s third-largest brewer, but it is craft-y. And Sleeman has long played up the origin story of it being a family recipe passed on from generation to generation until they were busted for smuggling during prohibition. “John [Sleeman] embraced the crafty spirit of his great-great-grandfather to get the brewery back up and running and, in 1988, the Sleeman beer brand was resurrected,” reads the copy on the updated Sleeman website.

Quote from the client: “Our new positioning captures the spirit of craftier thinking that is at the heart of everything we do—and in every drop of beer we brew. Our success is rooted in a willingness to think differently and creatively about the product we make.” —Dana Brochu, director of marketing at Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

David Brown