Walter proves its quality by focusing on the Caesar haters

The brand's largest-ever campaign acknowledges that not everyone will love its new RTD cocktail, and that's okay.

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Walter Craft Caesar is acknowledging the very polarizing nature of the beverage ahead of National Caesar Day on May 20.

In a new campaign promoting Walter’s newly-launched pre-mixed Caesar into liquor outlets, testers grimace, malign the drink and even do spit takes in what the brand is calling “de-testimonials.” The digital messaging, created by Camp Jefferson, is amplified with OOH and print ads claiming that “Caesar haters are going to see red.”

For the initial product launch, the messaging will largely be digital and social-focused. As different provincial regulations related to the pandemic ease, the brand will be leaning toward more traditional billboards later in the season.

National Caesar Day is an occasion where many brands – namely market leader Mott’s Clamato – celebrate what some consider to be Canada’s national cocktail. In additional to national pride, the ongoing popularity of the Caesar is also part of a broader, better-for-you boom.

But Aaron Harowitz, co-founder and CEO of Walter Craft Caesar, tells strategy there aren’t many fence sitters who “take it or leave it” when it comes to Caesars, likening it to olives and mushrooms as other similarly polarizing foods.

With so many lovers and haters, he says the campaign’s “negative” take is an interesting, engaging and (hopefully) funny way to introduce its new RTD product to its broad target of men and women who mainly value the brand’s craft and local value proposition. The campaign isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about liking Caesars, but the idea is that if Caesar haters hate Walter, it must have more of what Caesar lovers already love.

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“Typically Caesar drinkers consume it with some kind of regularity, and we position our product as a premium, but not a super expensive premium,” Harowitz says. He adds that there is overlap between this RTD and the brand’s non-alcoholic Caesar ingredients.

For the Caesar space, Harowitz says it peaks in the summer, with strong demand leading up to the holidays as well.

The brand began working with Camp Jefferson in the tail end of last year, with Cossette Media guiding media placement for the campaign, which Harowitz says is geared towards generating awareness for the new product and the Walter brand more broadly. When it comes to ad spend, Harowitz says it’s committing more than it’s ever done in the history of the company, which was founded in 2013 as the country’s first all-natural Caesar mix.

Rock-It Promotions is also assisting on PR for the campaign.

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