Grolsch gets conversation flowing with film buffs

The beer brand extended its TIFF sponsorship into nearby bars with a movie-themed card game.


Grolsch is aiming to be an even more prominent part of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) by encouraging movie-related conversations well beyond the red carpet.

The Asahi-owned beer has been a sponsor of TIFF for eight years. To go beyond the sea of other sponsors activating on Festival Street, the beer brand looked to extend itself into to the bars and restaurants surrounding the venues and theatres where the films have been screened.

Participating bars have been offering its patrons a game called “Sip & Social,” a film-themed card game meant to motivate conversation. Cards in the game range from trivia (“TIFF was originally named The Festival of Festivals,” “Which actor turned down the part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather?”) to conversation starters (“Would you rather be John Wick or Tony Stark?”). The game is being distributed alongside popcorn and Grolsch-branded coasters.

Toronto’s Smaller Agency worked on Grolsch’s TIFF executions this year. Agency founder Noah Barlow says, regardless of what else might be going on in the city, more people are looking to have some kind of activity to do when they are out at a bar or restaurant. “This places Grolsch at the centre of the activity and gives people fun film knowledge that they can share with each other through a social game,” he says.

Grolsch_Hero_CharacterThe broader campaign includes targeted social and out-of-home around Toronto, which prominently features the brand’s recognizable green swing-top bottle and is light on copy, featuring only words that apply to both the film world and the beer, such as “bold,” “distinctive” and “character.”