Unibroue celebrates Quebec’s ‘joie de vivre’

A new brand positioning for the brewer takes more of a mainstream approach focused on fun and creating memories.

After 27 years in the business, Chambly, Quebec-based craft brewer Unibroue has unveiled a new brand positioning steeped in what it describes as the province’s “joie de vivre.”

New French-only spots by Montreal agency Les Évadés, which was awarded the business last winter, feature a series of different social situations, shot from inside a fridge. In each case, a person opens the door and grabs a cold one while engaged in conversation – be it on what appears to be a patio, or a camper, or at house or dinner party. The 15-second spots end with the brand’s new signature, “Partagez le moment(which translates to “share the moment.”)

The decision to revisit Unibroue’s brand positioning and communications strategy comes as the craft beer industry continues to boom, both in Quebec and abroad, says Lisiane Jobidon, national brand manager for Unibroue at parent company Sleeman Breweries.

In the past, the company put greater emphasis on the quality of its brews and their Belgian influences, she says. That messaging continues to play a role on social – where additional assets are rolling out, including tip videos from Unibroue beer sommelier Sylvain Bouchard – but the brand decided to take a more mainstream approach to communicating its message this time.

While Unibroue has been recognized as a quality brewer on the international stage, it was important to remind Quebecers that its name is “synonymous with fun and shared moments between friends,” Jobidon wrote in an email, in French, to strategy. The new tagline aims to reinforce its role as a brand that can make even simple, everyday moments more memorable, she says.

Unibroue is focusing on digital channels, with the goal of targeting beer drinkers with Quebec-inspired moments and stories in a contextually relevant way, according to Jobidon. In addition to having a “robust” social media plan, Unibroue targeted more than 30 journalists, bloggers and influencers to underline the June launch of a new 473 ml-can format for its flagship brew, Blanche de Chambly.

The label, Unibroue’s first, takes centre stage in the campaign. The idea was to promote the new format and drive recognition of what was the first re-fermented Belgian white beer brewed in North America and is the most popular Belgian white beer in Quebec today, according to Jobidon.

The work is the first to come out of its relationship with Les Évadés. The shop was awarded the account last winter following a competitive search process, with its strengths in creative, strategy and digital, as well as its expertise in the beer category, having been central to the decision, according to Jobidon.

The assignment also covers the rest of Canada and the U.S., though work has yet to launch outside of the La Belle Province. Jobidon says the brand is “keeping a close eye” on Ontario and other English-speaking markets, but adds that the campaign strategy will have to account for the fact that not all its beers are available everywhere and that it has less brand awareness outside of Quebec.

Jungle Media is leading media for the campaign, with FDM supporting on PR.