Okanagan Spring Brewery kicks off ‘OK times’ with summer campaign

Who: Okanagan Spring Brewery, One Twenty Three West and Kiddo (production).

What: A new summer campaign, “Let the OK Times Begin,” promoting the brewer’s 1516 lager.

When & Where: The campaign launched on May 13, just in time for the Victoria Day weekend, and will continue through the summer. The ads, which include a 60-second anthem spot and 15-second cut-downs, are running online.

Why: Despite what the thermometer says, Victoria Day—colloquially known as the May 2-4 weekend—marks the unofficial start of summer, a key sales period for beer companies. Caroline Howson, director of client services at One Twenty Three, says that Canadian summers are fleeting, so the campaign is built around communicating a “seize the moment” feeling to consumers.

How: No brand wants to be associated with a wishy-washy term like OK,” but in this case it’s a reference to the brewer’s Okanagan Valley home. Shot in Kelowna, one of the region’s most popular summertime destinations, the 60: shows people shedding their office attire and phones as they make their way into the B.C. wilderness. The spot is filled with imagery that’s synonymous with summer: people jumping into water, oversized floaties, barbequeing and sitting around a campfire with their beer of choice. The spot is soundtracked by the Koyotie song “Best Life.”

And we quote: “We’re one of British Columbia’s original craft breweries. Our local roots are really what inspired Let the OK Times Begin. It’s our way of bringing the Okanagan to the world, reminding people of the feeling of sitting around a campfire with your friends, or floating away the day in a lake.”—Peter Bodenham, vice-president of marketing, Sleeman Breweries.

Chris Powell