Kokanee moves mountains

The beer brand tapped into Western Canada's mountain-dwellers to help create its new peak-season brew.


Kokanee is looking to cement its position as Canada’s mountain beer with a new campaign based around a limited-edition brew created in part from snow.

The Peak Brew offering, conceived of by agency Grip Limited, was made with snow collected from the tops of seven Canadian mountains and will be available in Western Canada until the end of the ski and snowboard season.

As part of the campaign, Grip created four specific documentary-style videos showcasing how the snow was collected by locals in Whistler Blackcomb, Marmot Peak, Polar Peak and Lake Louise. The videos, filmed by Sherpas Cinema, also highlight other local aspects of the areas around those mountains, such as the mythical “Griz” figure in Fernie, B.C.

The idea was to feature local people with ties to the mountains – such as ski patrollers – to spotlight Kokanee’s importance to the West and to mountain culture, says Randy Stein, creative partner at Grip.

“It was important that the tone of the “Peak Brew” campaign – largely the digital shorts – authentically reflected the unique personalities of each of the homegrown locals,” Todd Allen, marketing director for Kokanee, said in an email.

“These guys embody the mountain lifestyle in Western Canada and we wanted to ensure we represented them in a way that was genuine.”

The campaign was also a follow-up to the successful “Movie Out Here” initiative from the beer brand a couple of years ago. This new branded content play – with the beer itself acting almost as the content – was a move to continue innovating for Kokanee’s loyal drinkers out West, Stein says.

The campaign will live mostly online, with a social push from Kokanee and its mountain resort partners. Along with custom packaging, it will also include POS materials, executed by Hunter Straker, and OOH elements in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as on the roads to the different mountain resorts, with the media buy led by UM.

Mosaic also coordinated a launch event in Vancouver and will also lead three consumer mountain parties in Fernie, Lake Louise and Marmot in March and April and PR for the campaign is being handled by Loud Mouth Communications.