Roar Beverages tries to cut through better-for-you clutter

The brand is opting for vibrant, colourful digital ads to draw eyeballs and trial in a crowded beverage space.


Roar is hoping quirky animated videos will help it stand out in a highly competitive beverage space.

The organic brand is leaning into digital with its latest campaign, which uses bright, eye-catching animation and silly scenarios like skinny-dipping with electric eels to get one’s electrolytes.

The national campaign by Angry Butterfly, which won Roar’s AOR business in January, features eight videos that target different personas at different moments. It will be live on digital, with a mix of events, sampling and other seasonal elements coming throughout the year.

According to Lori Wiliams, president of Roar Beverages Canada, being witty and bold, and also colourful and animated, is an approach that will help the brand stand out against CPGs using people and real life scenarios. As a “scrappy” brand going against deep pocketed players like Pepsi and Coke, as well as relatively new entrants like BioSteel that have landed big sports sponsorships, having a playful, unserious attitude is its differentiator.

The creative also reflects Roar’s positioning as a very colourful brand, and Williams says it’s always opting for bold patterns, especially after a recent big packaging change (the brand also did a concomitant recipe change, adding A, C and E vitamin hydration).

This is the first year Roar is doing a big, fulsome campaign push across various channels, backed by what Williams describes as its biggest-ever campaign spend.

Founded in 2018, Roar Beverages Canada’s line of organic vitamin, electrolyte, and antioxidant-rich organic beverages are now found in more than 10,000 Canadian stores, including major grocery banners, Shoppers Drug Mart, Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Petro-Canada and Shell.

Williams tells strategy Roar is doing well in grocery, but it’s convenience and gas channels that are exceeding expectations, as its beverages are more of a grab-and-go “I want to drink now” product than a pantry stocker.

That’s why the brand has focused on things like Circle K takeovers and contesting for the last two years. This year, it did a weeklong private island travel giveaway, which has paid dividends for Roar and helped drive trial.

Coming off of that, Williams says a digital-first approach is what works best for Roar to further boost brand awareness, especially given that people haven’t returned to downtown office spaces en masse as of yet. Out-of-home is not off the table, but for now, the focus is digital as people are still not operating in a way they did prior to lockdowns.

Four of the five Roar SKUs are heroed in the spots, with the exception of strawberry coconut, which doesn’t have as broad a distribution. Cucumber watermelon is Roar’s biggest seller, Williams says, and it’s doing a retail test in Costco for that flavour profile shortly.