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Rickard's brews up a
Pint of Delicious

SILVER :: Off to a Good Start
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OVERVIEW: Rickard's finds a way to unify its overall message while promoting its individual variants.

SITUATION ANALYSIS: Rickard's is in the domestic super-premium segment. Its main variant, Rickard's Red, was launched in the early 1980s, and Rickard's now offers a series of variants. In the years following the introduction of the "Pint of Glory" campaign in 2005, Red enjoyed considerable success. But by 2008, though still the "red" leader, share was eroding under pressure from Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale. Meanwhile, Rickard's White had launched successfully, but research suggested that the franchise was getting fragmented. Moreover, the soon-to-be-introduced Dark would add to this problem, so Rickard's needed a unifying story that would work at the trademark as well as the variant level.

STRATEGY & INSIGHT: Rickard's drinkers felt that they had "beer maturity." But how do you capture this without coming across as snobby? Concept testing hinted at a role for the Rickard's bartender as a credible, knowledgeable and approachable spokesman. Also, a fact emerged that might seem obvious in retrospect but was critical to the strategic thinking: Rickard's is flavourful. This posed another problem, however. There was no pre-existing language to describe a beer like Rickard's. "Cold, Crisp, Clean, and Smooth" were too universal. Rickard's needed a new vocabulary.

EXECUTION: The campaign started in December '09, and the first :30 TV ad established the campaign elements. Three men are at the end of a bar. They reinforce another man's choice of Rickard's with hyperbolic metaphors about deliciousness, only to be trumped by the bartender. What does Rickard's taste like? "Take the best day of your life and put it in your mouth." Outtakes from the shoot were posted on YouTube, while a banner campaign challenged drinkers to click through and "brew" their own version of the TV ad. A fan page also encouraged users to share their metaphors through wall postings. As for the variants, 15-second spots followed the established pattern: What does Rickard's Dark taste like? "It's like getting punched in the mouth with flavour."

RESULTS: Before the new campaign launched, Rickard's had been in decline. For the six months following the launch, the trademark was up 12% VYA. Importantly, this included 7% growth on Rickard's Red.

CAUSE & EFFECT: The sales effect correlated with the advertising schedule, and tracking showed that the message was breaking through (data were supplied). In addition, spending was virtually flat, pricing and distribution were basically unchanged, and there was no unusual promotion activity.

Kristi Knowles - Vice-President Marketing
Paul Lipson - Senior Brand Manager
Martine Bouthillier - Brand Manager
Ali Cameron - Assistant Brand Manager

TAXI Canada
Darren Clarke - Executive Creative Director
Guybrush Taylor - Art Director
Jono Holmes - Writer
Jennifer Cursio - Agency Broadcast Producer
Charlie Clark - Account Director
Christian Parsons - Account Manager
Adam Collins - Agency Planner
Maxine Thomas - VP Executive Strategic Director

Mediaedge.cia - Media Agency
Karla Stuewe, Travis St. Denis - Media Agency Planners
Rick Jarjoura - Production House Producer
Tico Poulakakis - Cinematographer
Griff Henderson - Editor
Posterboy Edit - Video Post/Editing Facility
Crush Inc - Compositor/Online
Notch - Colourist/Transfer
Pirate Toronto - Audio Post Facility
Tom Goudie - Music Producer/Sound Design
58ninety - Digital Strategy