Intrigue surrounds Sapporo’s legendary biru

The beerco launches its first ever full-scale advertising campaign in Canada, focused on its Japanese heritage.

Sapporo has been on shelves in Canada for several years now, but it decided that the time was right to raise the profile of its legendary biru (Japanese term for beer). Developed by Toronto-based Dentsu Canada, the Japanese beerco launched its first ever full-scale advertising campaign in Canada last month. Its aim is to instill a sense of intrigue to attract 19- to 25-year-old hip, intelligent dudes looking to be seen as unique and interesting. Research indicated that consumers are fascinated with all things Japanese, says Scott Pederson, national marketing manager, Sleeman Breweries.
“We learned right away that the Japanese origins of Sapporo provided us with a lot of really good raw material to work with strategically,” says Pederson.
Set to the beat of a chorus of Japanese drums, a TV spot takes viewers on a tour through a mythical Sapporo brewery where the biru is mixed in the presence of sumo wrestlers and heated by the fiery breath of dragons. The effort also includes a microsite,, which features a contest awarding a trip to Japan, social media, POS and a beer tap handle in the form of a kitana sword. Media for the effort was handled by Carat.
“There’s a lot of potential to take this platform forward and constantly keep it fresh,” says Pederson.
Sapporo first made waves in Canada when it bought Sleeman back in 2006. “Legendary Biru” will remain in market until the end of August.