Granville Island Brewing unveils a batch of DIY ads

Who: Granville Island Brewing, with Rethink.

What: Ads promoting the Vancouver-based brewer’s new Watermelon Lager and Island Cerveza.

When & Where: The ads debuted this week on the brewer’s social channels.

Why: As is becoming increasingly clear, brands don’t currently have a whole lot of white space when it comes to developing new creative during the health crisis. This is an attempt to come up with work that at least bears some of the hallmarks of standard advertising.

At the same time, it’s also providing help for B.C.’s film industry, which hired more than 71,000 people last year and has been hard-hit by the COVID pandemic. Grenville Island Brewing has also made a donation to the Actors Fund of Canada’s emergency financial aid fun, which provides assistance to people in the industry who are struggling through financial difficulty.

How: Adhering to self-isolation rules, the ads were shot by two B.C. actors in their own home, with crew members and Rethink staffers providing technical advice on everything from framing and performance to art direction and makeup via Zoom. While the scripted ads have a deliberately DIY feel, they are a refreshing change from ads that have relied on a combination of stock footage and user content picked up from social media. “This is very exciting, and thrilling and scary,” says actor Amy Goodmurphy in an accompanying “making of” video.

One ad for Island Cerveza features B.C. actor Devin Mckenzie wearing wigs and even lipstick to portray four different roommates, one of whom is asking the others who took his cans of beer. “I was really looking forward to that beer,” he says. “It’s supposed to be super refreshing.”

The other features Goodmurphy having an animated discussion with a “friend,” played by her dog Josephine wearing a wig, about who discovered the Watermelon Lager first. “Yeah well, just because you get your hair done at a fancy salon, doesn’t mean you’re better than me.”

And we quote: “This idea was born out of a desire to help our friends in this community that have been so unfortunately impacted by COVID-19. We put our signature untraditional Granville Island twist on a traditional form of media with the hopes of providing some good laughs during this uncertain and difficult situation we all find ourselves in. It’s our way of reaching out with a virtual cheers to say ‘We are here for you and you are not alone in this.'” —Marissa Mills, brand manager, Granville Island Brewing.





Chris Powell