Swashbuckling mini-movie embodies spirit of Keith’s

The Oland Brewery has enlisted Austin Powers to help flog its signature brew, Alexander Keith's Pale Ale, and to promote the June opening of its refurbished $4-million microbrewery in downtown Halifax. The brewer recently purchased all of the advertising time for...

The Oland Brewery has enlisted Austin Powers to help flog its signature brew, Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale, and to promote the June opening of its refurbished $4-million microbrewery in downtown Halifax.

The brewer recently purchased all of the advertising time for the Feb. 9 ATV (Atlantic Television network) premiere of Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, so that it could air a 14-minute Keith’s ‘mini-movie’, created by agency of record Corporate Communications Ltd. (CCL Group), in four separate instalments throughout the broadcast.

Set in Nova Scotia during the early 1800s, the long-format commercial chronicles the adventures of a handful of popular characters, like the Admiral and the rogue privateer Roger, who have been appearing in Keith’s commercials since 1993.

But the undeniable centrepiece of the ‘mini-movie’ is the admiral’s daughter, who journeys to Nova Scotia under the escort of Sir Stephen, a priggish British aristocrat. After visiting the Keith’s brewery, a thriving pub overflowing with Keith’s, cleavage and Celtic fiddlers, the daughter becomes captivated by the swashbuckling Roger, and the carousing Nova Scotian spirit he personifies.

‘If you look at the advertising, it’s really representing Nova Scotia good times. Anyone who has had experience with the Maritimes can truly relate to that,’ explains Mike Glover, president of the Oland Brewery, which is a unit of Toronto-based Labatt Breweries of Canada.

Viewers can also participate in a ‘Watch and Win’ contest that requires them to phone in and correctly identify the three new characters that appear in the commercial (and no, Ivana Drinkalot is not one of them).

Although the brewer is targeting the 19-24 audience by airing the ‘mini-movie’ during Austin Powers, the creative concept is markedly different from ads for brands such as Labatt Blue, which usually feature hip young people and contemporary music.

‘At a very basic level, I think [Keith's and Blue] are doing the same thing, but with different metaphors,’ explains Chester Goluch, creative director at CCL. ‘Keith’s is much more rooted in tradition – it’s a trans-generational brand.’

A number of 30- and 60-second spots will be assembled from the movie footage, and will run over the next year.

Credits:

Client: The Oland Brewery

Agency: Corporate Communications Ltd. (CCL Group)

Creative Director: Chester Goluch

Writer: Chester Goluch

Art Director: Michael Scher

Media: Television

Media Planner: Phil Chant

Account Director: Larry MacEachern

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