Iceberg Vodka chooses Bob’s Your Uncle

New work is expected in June as the Newfoundland-based company seeks to leverage its craft credentials.

Bob’s Your Uncle has been tasked with helping Iceberg Vodka to not just stay afloat but to grow in a hotly contested market.

The Toronto-based agency will lead creative efforts for the Newfoundland-based brand, after winning a competition over two other Canadian agencies. (Iceberg had previously been working with an agency out of New York but David Meyers, president and CEO of Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corporation, says the brand decided it was important to be represented by a Canadian shop.)

The new creative is expected in market this summer and will seek to differentiate the largest Canadian-owned vodka brand by focusing on its craft credentials, a fast-growing segment of the spirits industry, Meyers says . His company, founded in 1995, harvests water from 20,000-year-old icebergs in “Iceberg Alley” off of Newfoundland, and makes its vodka in small batch quantities.

“We’ve heard of craft brews, craft wines, but a really strongly growing segment of the spirit industry is craft spirits as well,” he says. “”That is really the centre point of this creative – to reinforce our credentials of being a craft vodka.”

Meyers says Iceberg currently has 5% of the Canadian vodka market, which he hopes to double in the next few years, and is also expanding in the U.S., where it will be available in 20 states by the end of the year. The company’s vodka is also distributed in 22 countries, mostly concentrated in Europe.

The campaign assets and media budget are still being finalized but Meyers says it will likely feature print, outdoor and digital advertising, as well as an in-store component. It comes about a year after Iceberg Vodka refreshed the packaging of its iceberg-shaped bottle and introduced a new product line, Iceberg Icefusions, with three new flavours – chocolate mint, creme brulee and cucumber.

For now the relationship between the brand and agency is to work on the new campaign but Meyers says he hopes this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship with the shop.

Robert Froese, CEO of Bob’s Your Uncle, says Iceberg is a mid-sized client for the shop, which also counts Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, The Daniels Corporation, Second Harvest, Catelli Pasta and Minute Rice among its clients.

Froese, who launched Mike’s Hard Lemonade in Canada and the U.S. when the agency was called Toronto’s BrainStorm Group, says he had been eager for the chance to get back in the alcoholic beverage sector.

“We were very much on the lookout for another strong Canadian brand we thought had great potential,” he says. “Iceberg is one of those brands.”