James Ready shares the radio waves

When the minimum price of beer was hiked to more than a dollar by the LCBO last year, it was no longer possible to 'keep this beer a buck,' the platform James Ready had run on since 2007. After the success of last year's 'Share Our Billboard' campaign, which put drinkers' images and messages up on JR billboards in their hometowns across Ontario (and received two golds at the International Andy Awards and Best of Show at the Obies), JR brand manager Chris Waldock and his team, along with agency Leo Burnett, decided to extend the fun to the radio waves.

When the minimum price of beer was hiked to more than a dollar by the LCBO last year, it was no longer possible to ‘keep this beer a buck,’ the platform James Ready had run on since 2007. After the success of last year’s ‘Share Our Billboard’ campaign, which put drinkers’ images and messages up on JR billboards in their hometowns across Ontario (and received two golds at the International Andy Awards and Best of Show at the Obies), JR brand manager Chris Waldock and his team, along with agency Leo Burnett, decided to extend the fun to the radio waves.

Starting last month, the first phase was an open call to thank customers for their loyalty and offering to return the favour. With media handled by Starcom MediaVest Group, advertising on numerous rock radio stations in seven different markets across Ontario drove listeners to Howcanjrhelpyou.ca.

Once there, consumers could ask JR for a favour – help pay for a vacation, soup up the old jalopy – or take the Niagara Falls, ON-based brand up on its offer to share radio time and get the word out about, well, anything at all: marriage proposals, upcoming band gigs, etc. At press time the first ads were scheduled to hit local airwaves at the end of May.

‘It’ll manifest itself in a lot of different ways, whether we read the message out loud, we get someone to do it, or we bring them in the studio. I think having variety is the key to it,’ says Leo Burnett CCO Judy John.

In a James Ready tradition, Leo Burnett is also writing humorous suggestions on beercaps of the ways in which it can help, as well as through an in-case newsletter. A minimum of five favours will be granted by the end of the summer.