Moosehead awarding personalized beers for a job well done

Who: Moosehead Breweries, with Conflict for strategy and creative, Untitled Films for production (directed by Rebecca Applebaum), Craft Public Relations for PR and influencer, and Media Experts for media.

What: “Beer With Your Name On It,” a campaign that introduces a new Moosehead brand positioning and strategy of celebrating perseverance, overcoming challenges, and getting things done.

When & Where: Debuting just in time for the unofficial start of Canada’s summer season, the campaign will run for through the spring and into the summer on TV, but with a heavy influence on digital/social.

Why: When Conflict was chosen as Moosehead’s agency last year, the mandate was to help identify and develop a longer term brand positioning for the beer. “They were really looking to find what their true story was,” said Niall Kelly, partner and creative director at Conflict.

They soon realized that simply continuing to exist as an independent beer brand that had prevailed over countless challenges and hurdles in its 155-year history was an impressive story. “They had the perseverance to overcome the obstacles put in front of them, so that felt like a good jumping off point for the brand that was really true about them,” said Kelly. That brand story was built into this campaign featuring individual stories about people overcoming their own challenges to get things done.

“Through the pandemic, a lot of people have started doing things that were outside their comfort zone,” said Kelly. ”The campaign was about trying to encourage that spirit…  to really rise to an occasion or take on a challenge.”

A lot of people regard a beer is the best reward for a job well done, said Kelly, adding that they kept referencing the famous beer scene in Shawshank Redemption as they developed the campaign. “It’s really a positive, feel-good campaign to reward people who have a similar spirit to Moosehead,” said Kelly.

How: The core idea behind the campaign is that people can share their own stories of achievement and tag Moosehead on Instagram for a chance to win a Moosehead with their name on it.

The launch ad features a friendly character—”The casting spec was someone you would instantly want to high five,” said Kelly—in a brewery, explaining that Moosehead wants to reward people with their own beer after a job well done.

The brief for director Rebecca Applebaum was for the ad to feel “slightly low-tech and intimate,” said Kelly. ”It should feel almost like this guy from the brewery took on this job of handing out these beers, and he put together his own film crew to bring it to life, and to really have a folksy, personal feel to it.”

While the advertising helps launch the campaign, it will really come to life as people start to share their own stories about their achievements and accomplishments. The stories Moosehead and Conflict are looking to reward—ie. the people who will get their personalized Moosehead—will be the ones sharing the hard work done to overcome challenges and realize their accomplishments.

“You go on Instagram and you see someone’s done this amazing thing, but you maybe don’t hear about the 100 hours that went into practicing it,” he said. “We want to celebrate someone who’s just starting something new, or they are learning to play the cello… and always with Moosehead as the reward.”

For now the posts are being re-shared organically by Moosehead, but those stories—and the people being rewarded with their personalized beer—could be used for additional content as the campaign unfolds. There is also some influencer content, and aside from the launch spot, shorter videos featuring the high-fivable brewer celebrating someone who learned sign language, for example, and another who tried stand-up comedy for the first time.

What about the tagline? There is none, says Kelly. “But there’s a real spirit and energy to it that is indicative of where we want to take the brand, which is that doers mentality—we want people who think of themselves as natural doers to think of Moosehead as a beer that gets them.”

And we quote: “Let’s be honest: There’s no better tasting beer than one you’ve really earned… Whether you’ve built a tool shed in your backyard, climbed your first mountain, learned a new language or finally finished your master’s thesis, we want to celebrate Canadians’ achievements the best way we know how: With a cold, crisp Moosehead Lager.” —Trevor Grant, vice-president of sales and marketing

David Brown