Sleeman launches first major TV campaign

A beer with nothing to hide? That's how the Sleeman brand touts itself in a new TV strategy, marking its first major commitment to advertising in that medium....

A beer with nothing to hide? That’s how the Sleeman brand touts itself in a new TV strategy, marking its first major commitment to advertising in that medium.

Created by Zig, Sleeman’s new Toronto-based AOR, the first two satirical spots of the campaign were set to launch on Victoria Day. Both ‘Wedding’ and ‘Hi How are Ya’ star brutally honest characters: in the first, a man tells a groom, accompanied by his blushing bride, that he ‘heard all about the incident,’ while ‘Hi How are Ya’ features a guy who admits he can’t remember an acquaintance’s name when they meet up in a bar. Both spots end with the tagline; Nothing to hide.

‘It’s for people who see through all the hyperbolic promises of mainstream beer advertising,’ says Andy Macaulay, founding partner of Zig, who points out Sleeman tested the television waters a year ago with a spot starring John Sleeman that concentrated on the company’s heritage. Despite the fact that consumers describe the suds in ‘glowing terms’ in research, he says the brand needed an energy boost to appeal to younger consumers. The Guelph, Ont.-based brewer switched its target to the 25- to 30-year-old beer drinker, about 10 years younger than its original core. Most of Sleeman’s past ads have been focused on radio.

Paul Brennan, director of marketing at Sleeman, believes advertising on the tube will reach the new target more effectively than any other medium, as well as help fend off accelerated competition in the premium beer market. ‘I think we need to be in the consumer consciousness in a more significant way,’ he says. ‘People need to be reminded that we are a choice.’