Molson M’s artsy new positioning

The Molson Coors brand gives itself a different identity, launching a TV spot to stake a unique spot in the beer market.

Molson M, the company’s only microcarbonated lager, has been without a solid brand positioning for the past two years. Since its launch in Quebec in 2009 and then in English Canada at the start of 2011, the brand has had mixed feelings about who it really is, says Martine Bouthillier, senior brand manager, Molson Coors Canada.

In French Canada, consumers thought of it as a commercial beer, but in the rest of the country it was always seen as a premium beer, she says.

“The positioning was not quite defined, to be honest,” says Bouthillier. “We realized the brand would be a lot stronger with a unified approach in both regions and that is exactly why we decided to re-work the positioning.”

BBDO was the agency enlisted to create a 30-second spot to communicate its message of what Bouthillier describes as a “beer brewed with artistry and mastery.” Mediaedge was given the task of planning the placement of the new ad on specialty networks.

The commercial showcases famous artists in an array of different fields. From chef Mark McEwan to street artist Jabari Elicser Elliot, the quick cuts show each of them passionately working at their craft. In the final seconds of the spot, Jon Lowes, a Molson M brewer, is shown producing the beer with the same passion found in all great art.

“Our approach is very different and unique from what we have seen in the industry,” says Bouthillier. “It’s not about partying, it’s not about music and it’s not about hockey. It’s about celebrating the creative minds and the passion that is put into art.”

“Everything about it is different, even in the terms of branding,” she adds. “Usually in a beer ad you see bottles of beer everywhere from beginning to the end, but in our ad you only see branding in the very last second.”

Even the media placement is different, she says.

“We went for very selective and specialized networks. Instead of going for TSN, for example, we went for the Food Network. That’s not a typical place for beer ads,” says Bouthillier.

“We pinpointed specific shows that are related to art and culture,” she adds. “We tried to find the shows and stations that embrace the philosophy of art behind anything great.”

The first part of the campaign will include TV and online ads, but possibly in the near future, the brand will also delve into OOH, she says, adding that it will stay clear of placing ads on highways and opt for urban and art-infused parts of the city to advertise.

Bouthillier also hinted at creating initiatives that will work to support emerging artists in Canada, saying that “while bigger beer brands may choose to sponsor shows for the Madonna’s and the U2’s of this world, Molson M will go more local.”