Molson and Wiser’s raise one to their ‘common bond’

The beer and whisky brands collaborate on a lager that aims to earn the benefits of innovation by tapping into their respective legacies.

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Molson and J.P. Wiser’s are celebrating their respective histories with the release of a new beer infused with the complex toasted oak and vanilla flavours of a whisky.

The brew, named Molson Common Bond, is a bid by the brewer “to make sure that our brand is relevant to new generations of drinkers – those who are seeking variety and really curious to try something new and different,” says Katie Rankin, senior marketing manager at Molson.

Parent company Molson Coors, like other big brewers, has been diversifying its portfolio into non-beer beverages like ready-to-drink cocktails, seltzers and cannabis-infused beverages, as growth in the beer category has stagnated in recent years. But innovation within beer still has a benefit.

“When we look at our marketing recruitment strategy, obviously innovation plays such an important role,” she adds, noting that the company has seen that new innovations in the beer space leads to new lift on the core brand.

For Common Bond, it is intended to appeal specifically to beer drinkers over the age of 30 who enjoy both lagers and whisky, she notes, and who “are curious to see how they come together.”

Molson Common Bond_Campaign PaintingThe marketing for Common Bond heavily focuses on the history and legacy of the two brands that have come together to make it, and includes a campaign that imagines a reality in which John Molson and J.P. Wiser might have met and bonded over their respective crafts. The campaign included a contest in which people could submit photos of themselves with their best friends via social media for a chance to win an old-fashioned portrait created from the photo.

Molson, which has been brewing beer for more than 235 years, is the oldest brewery in North America. J.P. Wiser’s, meanwhile, was established in 1857 and is Canada’s oldest whisky brand.

Molson intentionally made its history and the story of its founder, John Molson, an important part of its strategy when it established its masterbrand visual identity two years ago, Rankin says.

Common Bond fits into that strategy as yet another homage to Molson’s long brewing tradition, but Rankin also likens it to the brand’s “Canadian Case” promotion as another celebration of and partnership between brands founded here in Canada, as well.

“Common Bond allows us to bring these respective, long Canadian legacies to life,” Rankin explains. “It’s just a natural partnership for us, and one that we think speaks to both company’s histories and not only that, but where the companies are today as well.”