Molson Ultra is making a big effort for active ‘weekend warriors’

The first campaign since a 2019 relaunch casts the beer as something to enjoy after any activity people choose to do.

Beer is frequently positioned around kicking back and camaraderie. But Molson Ultra is combining that with outdoors pursuits of varying intensity to craft unique space for the brand in a booming “better for you” alcohol market.

The new “Yes, People” campaign features a mix of different activities people say “yes” to, from tricky ski courses to friends playing table tennis to people struggling through hikes or biking through the snow. The spots all end with socializing after everyone is done their exercise, which also calls out Ultra’s low calorie, low carb value proposition.

According to a recent figures from beverage analytics firm IWSR, 42% of consumers who purchase low-alcohol products reported increasing their low-alcohol product uptake in 2021. And Molson is calling this Ultra campaign its biggest ever for the brand, which was previously known as Molson Canadian 67 before 2019. Molson says it has had 38% volume growth since the rebrand, caught up in the health boom.

“We were looking at the category and the consumer, and what the trends were and where we were seeing them going…both from a ‘better for you’ beer perspective, and also from a consumer’s health and wellness perspective,” says Sophia Lal, the brand’s Toronto-based senior marketing manager.

The resulting campaign, therefore, takes an ever-so-slightly more casual approach to being active, featuring weekend warriors – rather than people like marathon runners that brands like Michelob have been making a play for in recent years – and casting having a Molson Ultra during post-activity socializing as a reward for staying active. Even the rugby scene is portrayed as a recreational league between friends.

According to Lal, low-alcohol varieties are taking off as much as non-alcoholic ones across different beverage categories. Lal tells strategy Molson is uniquely functionally positioned to really win in this space, as it’s competitive in low calorie, carbs and alcohol by volume. It’s also strategically building on the Molson brand equity, by leaning multiple geographic settings in the spot.

“We’re looking at all sorts of ‘better for you’ brands,” Lal says, spanning beer, RTDs and seltzer. Consumer repertoires, she says, are bigger than ever before and it’s seeing more 30- to 40-year-olds, more evenly split between the genders than is typical for beer.

The spots, the brand’s first since the onset of the pandemic and its biggest buy since the 2019 relaunch, began airing this week and are slated for primetime during the first rounds of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. They constituent the first component of the brand campaign, which will stretch through the remainder of the year, Lal says. Cutdowns will also be appearing in digital and social media.

Rethink did the creative and Wavemaker handled the buy.