This lie detector can is able to tell if Canadians are ‘keeping it real’

Who: Molson Coors Canada’s Simply Spiked Lemonade, with Citizen Relations for creative and PR; Playbook for experiential; Volt for social; and Wavemaker for media.

What: The Keep it Real Can, a promotional campaign for the new cooler brand featuring what is being billed as the world’s first lie detector in a can. It uses a heart rate sensor and a galvanic skin response sensor (don’t worry, they’re explained below) to tell if people are, in fact, “keeping it real” for real.

When & Where: The Keep it Real Can will be popping up at sampling events in BC, Ontario and Quebec throughout the summer, supported by a video running across Simply Spiked’s social channels and as YouTube pre-roll.

The video drives to a dedicated website, where visitors are invited to give their “realest, most honest, no-fibbing” review of Simply Spiked for a chance to win $5,000. The Keep it Real Can is also being featured in a segment running during the Quebec version of the reality show Love Island.

Why: After a successful U.S. launch in 2021, Molson Coors Canada introduced Simply Spiked Lemonade—made with real fruit juice—earlier this year. The brand promise is “keeping it real,” and the Keep It Real Can highlights that positioning for consumers, said Lindsay Wilson, brand director, seltzer and flavour portfolio, with Molson Coors.

In more practical terms, it’s about generating awareness and trial for the product. “While we know Canadian’s are very familiar with the Simply Juice brand, this is still a new product launch and relatively new expansion for Molson Coors into the cooler category,” said Wilson. “This new launch follows our path to become a beverage company moving beyond solely the beer aisle. Our immediate business goals are to grow awareness of our new offering with this positioning in mind, while encouraging consumers to simply try our product.”

How: The campaign is built around the insight from a study commissioned by Simply Spiked which found that half of Canadians 19 and over have lied to avoid conflict or to protect someone’s feelings. Presumably, that trait might also extend to how they felt about a new beverage brand.

Simply Real worked with what Wilson described as a “seasoned technologist,” who provided information on how lie detectors work and the outcomes that can be expected from a typical polygraph machine. He then helped create a test that could fit inside a standard 355ml can of Simply Spiked Lemonade.

Yeah okay, but how: According to Wilson, the can’s built-in sensors are able to tell if people are “keeping it real” by measuring two key bio-response metrics: pulse rate, and galvanic skin response—changes in sweat gland activity, reflective of the intensity of our emotional state or emotional arousal.

Like a lie detector test, it works by first establishing a baseline. “To maintain consistency, we only ask yes or no questions and compare the before and after metrics,” said Wilson. “When a user’s heart rate and galvanic skin response is maintained, it can be assumed that the truth is being told. When that baseline increases we can assume there is a falsehood.”

And is it accurate? We’ve seen the accuracy of lie detector tests pegged at anywhere from 70% to 98%, so the obvious answer here is…it depends. “But with the right measurements and right questions, we can get as close to the real truth as possible—and the Keep It Real Can does just that,” said Wilson. “It measures each user’s baseline measurement, then any change, and reports the difference.”

And we quote: “We know that Canadians are a nice and polite bunch of people. We assumed that most probably didn’t lie about their taxes, but what about the little things…  like your friend’s new radical haircut, or your mother-in-law’s cooking? After all, who wants to hurt someone’s feelings?” — Lindsay Wilson, brand director, seltzer and flavour portfolio, Molson Coors

Chris Powell