Molson Coors Canada anoints Queen Priyanka as Vizzy spokesperson

Molson Coors Canada is getting Vizzy with it, partnering with drag superstar Queen Priyanka to promote its entrant in the fast-growing hard seltzer category.

The company announced Wednesday that the winner of the first season of Canada’s Drag Race would become Vizzy Hard Seltzer’s community impact director. Her appointment coincides with the launch of the “Vizzybility Project,” a new endeavour catering to Canada’s LGBTQ+ community.

The program is providing grants of approximately $35,000 to four LGBTQ+ artists, combined with one-on-one mentoring by Queen Priyanka and national media placements for their projects. Molson Coors said that it will invest more than $1 million to support under-represented artists this year through the Vizzy brand, part of a commitment to “show up for the LGBTQ+ community in ways that matter most.”

According to Mindshare Canada data from 2019, more than two-thirds of the Canadian LGBTQ+ community feel they are misrepresented in the media.

“Vizzy is a brand built on being proud of what makes it different,” said marketing director Leslie Malcolm in a release. “Helping to make someone feel seen for their whole self, differences and all, is true to our DNA and we look forward to making a long-term and positive impact to the vibrant LGBTQ+ community in Canada.”

Utilizing Queen Priyanka’s signature phrase “What’s my naaaaame?” the program is being supported by high-energy video ads featuring Priyanka. It is being supported by Queer Collective, a non-profit organization committed to uplifting Queer artists.

Led by Mark Anthony’s White Claw brand—whose “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws” became something of a rallying cry for its customer base—the hard seltzer category has exploded in popularity in recent years.

Recently described by one business publication as “the alcohol industry’s party trick,” sales continue to soar, with Goldman Sachs predicting global sales could reach US$30 billion by 2025.

Labatt Breweries of Canada brought its Bud Light Seltzer to Canada in March and after fulfilling the mandatory “quarantine” for people (and mascots, apparently) coming in from the U.S., its can-shaped mascot Seltzy has been spotted at NHL playoff games.

While there are also competing products from brands including Smirnoff, Molson Coors says its product is distinguished by the presence of acerola cherry (also known as the Barbados cherry or West Indian cherry). The Journal of Food Science and Technology described acerola cherries as an “untapped functional superfruit” because of their antioxidant capacity and “interesting bio-functional properties,” including a skin whitening and anti-aging.

Queen Priyanka has become a highly sought spokesperson for Canadian marketers in recent months, appearing in campaigns for brands as diverse as BMO and SodaStream.

“I know first-hand what it feels like to be under-represented and have my art not as easily supported as others,” she said in a release. “As Vizzy’s community impact director, we’re going to expose the fabulous talents of the LGBTQ+ artist community and I’m especially looking forward to working personally with the grant recipients to elevate and be proud of their art.”

Chris Powell