Truly taps DJ culture to show off its flavour

As part of a "big bet" in the RTD space, Moosehead is turning a product differentiator into a vehicle for self-expression.

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Truly Hard Seltzer is being relaunched in the Canadian market with aims on positioning the brand as one tied to self-expression.

The Truly brand – owned by the Boston Beer Company and marketed in Canada by Moosehead – is the number two hard seltzer in the U.S. market, after White Claw, where it was introduced in 2016.

Taking learnings from that success, a new Canadian campaign by Arrivals + Departures is positioning the brand around DJing/EDM as a way to flavours. The “For the Flavourful” campaign features an attempt to literally plug into the music subculture, with a DJ putting an electrical cord into an ethereal garden to power up her decks.

As a thematic extension of the campaign, Truly also launched a collection of samples created by capturing and translating biorhythmic sounds from the actual fruit in Truly’s flavours, housed on music creator site Landr, for free download.

Jessica Boland, marketing director at Moosehead Breweries, tells strategy that, while the RTD category is a crowded one, Truly’s success can be partially attributed to flavour innovation, as its portfolio of 16 SKUs is broader than anyone else’s in the space.

But she adds that the way Truly is speaking about “flavour” goes beyond taste to include identity and self-expression, all of which are embodied by DJ/EDM culture and music as a whole. The goal is getting consumers under the age of 45 to embrace what makes them unique. While a Truly campaign in the U.S. last year featured young people expressing their style and identity in clubs and parties, the Canadian campaign is approaching that goal through a more relaxed and personal approach.

Boland says that the brand tested in TV last year and saw great results.

And the creative’s timing coincides with the hero SKU in the 30-second TV spot, Wild Berry, arriving in the Quebec market, with others like Strawberry Lemonade, being pushed across different platforms like OOH, featuring vibrant designs and the ability to scan Spotify codes to hear sounds and songs inspired by the flavours. Through a Spotify partnership, Truly partnered with eight Canadian artists representing a geographical cross section, including Ouri Riou and DJ Overland.

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The multi-pronged campaign also includes influencer musical mailers that play the original tracks from the playlist upon opening, paid partnerships with relevant and top-tier influencers, earned media relations and a shopper marketing effort coming later this summer.

In terms of ad expenditure, Boland says this effort is pretty equal to its trade spend in terms of total budget, but that given the importance of the RTD category to growth for alcohol companies, it’s a “big bet” for Moosehead.

Craft Public Relations is leading earned media relations and artist & influencer relations. Media Experts is supporting with paid media amplification.