No Boats on Sunday slows it down

Who: Andrew Peller Ltd.’s cider/spiked seltzer brand No Boats on Sunday, with One Twenty Three West.

What: “Slow down. Oars up,” a digital campaign that reinforces the brand’s “oars up” positioning around the importance of slowing down and savouring the moment. It’s One Twenty Three West’s first work for the brand since winning the business earlier this year.

When & Where: The brand’s marketing has traditionally mixed paid media with social and experiential, but with the latter being curtailed by the pandemic, this year’s marketing plan is more heavily focused on paid media, said brand manager Jessica Stoehr.

The campaign launched late last month and is running digitally using a variety of formats—including a three-minute pre-roll video, a 15-second ad, and a series of five-second social ads.

Why: It’s about boosting brand awareness in a competitive and crowded category. The brand’s Nova Scotia roots—where Ontario-based Andrew Peller launched No Boats on Sunday cider in 2016—have helped boost awareness in the Atlantic provinces, but this is about raising its profile in key markets like Ontario and B.C., said Stoehr.

No Boats in Canada is a top 10 brand in the cider category, said Stoehr, and is now trying to make inroads in the fast-growing hard seltzer category, where it debuted last year.

How: All of the creative is built around the benefits of slowing down and savouring the moment. A 15-second ad is shot from the perspective of someone sitting in a Muskoka chair, an idyllic lakeside scene with a dock in front of them.

It opens on a super reading “If you take the time to enjoy it, it’s even better,” and reveals more tiny details—from fish jumping in the water, to a hot air balloon drifting past and a fireworks display—that might have been missed on the initial viewing.

The three-minute pre-roll opens on a picturesque lake and refers to YouTube’s “skip ad” button that viewers are probably already hovering over as soon as the ad appears. “You can skip in five seconds,” reads the accompanying super. “Or take some time to enjoy it.” As the ad progresses, we see someone slowly rowing a boat across the lake, with the only sound the paddles in the water and the birds chirping.

The five-second ads, meanwhile, use slow-motion to capture a can of the raspberry and watermelon vodka soda being opened, while another shows the local apples used in its cider products slowly bouncing into the frame.

And we quote: “If you take the time to slow down, everything is better—even the videos you’re watching,” said Stoehr. “We’re all moving a mile-a-minute to get from one place to the next. Life is busy, and when you move too fast you can miss those moments.”

Chris Powell