Truly Hard Seltzer lights up a Union Station market

The Moosehead brand is using coloured filters and glass to cast its own energy over Union Summer.

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Truly Hard Seltzer is getting passersby at Union Station to stop and take notice of some of its new flavours at an ongoing Toronto street festival.

Working with agency partner Momentum, the brand created an immersive experience it says is designed to reflect vibrant colours that constantly morph and evolve with the weather and time. It does this with dichroic film, mirrored acrylic and nature inspired die cuts to cast moving and changing colours over Union Summer, a TD-presented food, beverage and music festival set up on Front Street in downtown Toronto, made to catch the attention of the 300,000 daily users of Union Station.

The Truly activation is actually the Moosehead RTD brand’s second time coming to life at Union Summer, which functions much like a summer market, according to Moosehead Breweries marketing director Jessica Boland.

“With Truly launching in Ontario, we really made sure Truly is the focus of the bar and the activation,” Boland says. The activation is heroing strawberry lemonade and peach tea, Truly’s newest offerings at the LCBO.

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For the 2019 event, it brought a brand forward event with glassware and interactions to drum up user-generated content.The biggest takeaway from that event, Boland explains, is that people love being downtown when things like Blue Jays games are on, and people love going to a patio as a first stop in the night, plus commuters coming into what she calls the heart of the city.

The Union Station set up is not only highly visible but also an energetic destination that fits the brand very well, Boland says, telling strategy it will be putting the word out about the event through organic and paid, and that it is also hosting a party with influencers.

The brand is coming off a big retail LCBO activation at two flagship stores, Boland says. For the month of May, it had a complete immersive experience and again tapped DJ culture for a big launch party, complete with bucket hat merch and other swag.

This summer has been a busy one for the RTD brand. This May, it activated the Truly Flavour Trail, a two-week outdoor art experience featuring local artists, in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood.

When it comes to the competitive set, Boland says it differentiates itself from the likes of the super popular White Claw, with self-expression positioning, “joyful inclusivity,” but also that it wins on taste too, with blind taste test data that shows that the majority of respondents prefer Truly.

Boland says that while it began attracting more women, the hard seltzer category is since seeing more uptick from men. The target is legal drinking age to 35, but also expanding higher as it’s lighter and refreshing without the heaviness of a beer or a glass of wine.