Stadacone is sweet on its new positioning

The brand is targeting younger women to find its place in Quebec's booming gin market.

People in Quebec love gin more than any other province, which means Stadacone Distillery was looking to take a different approach to create room for itself in a market crowded by both legacy brands and new entrants.

To introduce Quebec consumers to its Stadacone Rouge – a gin made with locally sourced organic cranberries – a new digital campaign is positioning the brand as “strong,” but still fun. Things like abrasive music and aggressively hot peppers are “strong,” sure, but Stadacone Rouge is strong-but-approachable, calling itself “the smoothest of the strong.”

Stadacone opened its doors last year – one of 24 new distillers to do so in Quebec, according to Alexandre Thomas, the company’s co-founder and marketing manager. That boom is likely due to the fact that Quebec consumes the most gin out of any province, with total litres sold reaching 3.2 million last year, growing by 10.6% compared to 2018.

Because of that, Thomas says, the main priority for the campaign is helping Stadacone establish a positioning that will help it stand out from the competition, which it aims to do by “capturing the imagination of Quebecers.”

The campaign is targeting 25- to 34-year-old women, something very few gin brands do despite the fact that the group consumes the most gin in Quebec, according to Frédéric Simard, a copywriter at Bob, the agency that led creative on the campaign. Flavoured gin, in particular, has grown in popularity among consumers under 35, according to data from Kantar.

Besides being relevant to the versatile and easy-to-approach nature of a cranberry-flavoured gin, Simard says the campaign needed to take a playful approach not typical of the category in order to capture its target’s attention. Established players like Bombay, Beefeater and Tanqueray typically approach older audiences, with a more craftsmanship- and legacy-focused approach, which Stadacone’s more relaxed, upbeat creative aims to stand against.

The campaign first launched in July by targeting consumers in Quebec City, and has now been rolled out to Montreal with posters appearing throughout the region. The video is appearing as targeted pre-roll on social media, adapted to animated display ads on lifestyle and cooking sites, as well as urban culture site Urbania and dating apps. Media was handled by Espace M.