Vizzy comes to Canada with grants for LGBTQ artists

Molson Coors wants its seltzer to be "more than a rainbow brand," partnering with drag queen Priyanka to offer tangible support.

Molson Coors is launching its first Canadian national campaign for the beverage in the form of a grant program for LGBTQ+ artists.

The brand has signed drag superstar Queen Priyanka as its community impact director, partnered with advocacy organization the Queer Collective, and opened applications to the program – dubbed the Vizzybility Project – which will award four LGBTQ+ artists with a grant package valued at $35,000 for a creative project.

In addition to cash funding, winners will receive mentorship opportunities with Queen Priyanka, exposure through both Priyanka’s and the brand’s platforms, and a nationally broadcast showcase for their projects. The partner for the showcase is still to be determined.

Last fall in the U.S., Vizzy committed $1 million USD to LGBTQ civil rights organization the Human Rights Campaign, supported with an influencer campaign showing the HRC’s work and impact. This year, it also released a special “Pride Pack” in support of that partnership.

Leslie Malcolm, marketing director for seltzer and flavour at Molson Coors, says those roots in “showing up” for the LGBTQ community is something the company wanted to maintain for Vizzy’s Canadian launch. “We wanted to make a real impact with our launch in Canada and make sure that we were holding true to that.”

Brands tend to face extra scrutiny during Pride, with consumers increasingly interested in what kind of support they offer the LGBTQ community beyond changing their logo for a month. And Malcolm says the goal with Vizzy’s Canadian launch was to be “more than a rainbow brand” and to “make a positive impact on this community and be a champion for them in a way that our actions are really speaking for us.”

To do that, Molson Coors started laying the groundwork for the Vizzybility Project last fall with market research and discussions with key stakeholders in order “to make sure we were actively listening to what the needs were and how a brand could best play a positive role.”

“Through our research, we learned that art and performance is one of the most simple ways for people to express themselves and feel a sense of belonging. Despite that truth, we learned about 70% of the Canadian LGBTQ+ community feel underseen and misrepresented in the media, particularly when it comes to art expression,” Malcolm explains.

“We wanted to be a brand to help this underrepresented community feel more connected through art and to feel they have a positive space to demonstrate and participate in their art.”

Vizzy Hard Seltzer differentiates itself in the growing ready-to-drink category with a focus on being different and having acerola cherry as an ingredient. It is also Molson Coor’s latest effort to differentiate new brands with a focus on purpose. In April, the first campaign for Coors Seltzer encouraged Canadians to turn their camera off during virtual meetings so they can skip a shower for that day, helping to save water and connecting to the brand’s larger water conservation efforts.