A Truly original hard seltzer soundtrack

Who: Moosehead Breweries (Truly Hard Seltzer) with Arrivals + Departures, Media Experts for media, and Craft PR for public relations.

What: “For the Flavourful,” the hard seltzer brand’s first Canadian integrated campaign. It is designed to build off Truly’s “incredible momentum” in the U.S., where it currently trails only category leader White Claw in sales.

When & Where: The campaign launched July 5 and is running in major markets through the end of the year. In addition to a “robust” retail and influencer component, it includes online video, paid social, out-of-home, TV, and partnerships with Spotify, Snap and Narcity.

Why: The hard seltzer category is absolutely booming right now, with global sales topping US$4 billion last year and showing no signs of slowing—a 2020 Goldman Sachs report said the category could reach $30 billion by 2025.

In a January article, Forbes called the category’s runaway success a “Pied Piper call” for large brewers and wine and spirits companies looking to add to the bottom line, leading to a rush of new entrants like Bud Light Seltzer, and Molson Coors’ Vizzy brand.

Beer brands in particular are looking for something to offset declining sales, particularly among the key younger demographic. That has led brands like Corona and Heineken to move into the space.

In May, Molson Coors Canada announced a $100 million investment with an eye towards boosting its hard seltzer production by 300% this year.

Marketing has become paramount in a category where consumers have an abundance of choice. The New York Times called White Claw and Truly “the Coca-Cola and Pepsi” of hard seltzer,” and Truly is hoping to replicate its U.S. success in Canada.

How: The “For the Flavourful” campaign is built on the insight that Truly’s target audience craves diversity and originality in everything—from music and fashion, to travel, relationships, food and, of course, beverages.

“Truly is not your average hard seltzer,” said Jessica Boland, marketing director, partner brands, Moosehead Breweries. “Our beverages and advertising will reflect that.”

To create a distinctive ad campaign, Arrivals + Departures partnered with PlantWave, a technology company that lets users “tune into nature” by turning plants’ biorhythms into soundwaves. (You can see how the process works here, and NPR has a broader overview of the technology here.)

The agency captured the biorhythms of the fruits that make up Truly’s various flavours to create a “sample sound pack,” and then partnered with Canadian DJs and producers to turn those samples into songs. The resulting 11-song playlist is available on Spotify with out-of-home ads featuring scannable codes supported by online video and influencer marketing.

And we quote: “Truly has a phenomenal creative ethos that runs from the beverage products through to the brand experiences and partnerships. We’re doubling down on originality, creativity and self-expression to bring this brand to life in Canada and know it’s different than anything that’s happening in the category.” — Jeff MacEachern, chief creative officer,  Arrivals + Departures

Chris Powell