Our campaign objectives were:
1) To build Budweiser’s brand relevance, specifically among our Western Canadian target audience
2) To drive a deeper regional connection and fuel conversation among Western Canadians
3) To strengthen Budweiser performance against the key metric “hockey association”, a key driver of sales
When it comes to events on a national scale – concert tours, new products, and promotions – consumers from Western Canada are often overlooked by big brands. Rarely do Western Canadians get to experience large-scale marketing programs built just for them.
Budweiser saw this as an opportunity to act differently, to build a stronger connection to Western Canadians, and improve lagging brand relevance in a region that served as a key stronghold for the brand. Strengthening this metric would also help defend against growing competitive and pricing pressures.
Western Canadians are a little different from the rest of the country. We learned that they’re a little more open and ready to cheer, a little less reserved, and unapologetically proud of their regional heroes and accomplishments. So how could we best connect with them?
Our strategy was to champion the region’s #1 local passion – hockey – through a powerful, new media activation that helped Western Canadians celebrate their local teams, and create a never-been-done-before experience to help them celebrate their local teams and harness Western Canadians’ “give ’er!” attitude.
We struck an inspired partnership with the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, providing thousands of excited fans, in-arena, with team-branded, Red Light goal-synced glasses during the final Canucks game of the season and the first Flames game of the playoffs.
Each game amplified a powerful cultural moment for Western Canadians and their beloved teams. Thousands of glasses were triggered to flash red during the singing of “O Canada.” Then we let the teams do what they do best: score goals and synced our glasses with every home goal scored, triggering a stadium full of red lights.
In an industry first, we put Western Canadians in the spotlight using Canada’s biggest weekly sports broadcast, Hockey Night in Canada, making this the first time that a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast was opened with a live stunt integration.
Our program was the most complex live integration in Hockey Night in Canada’s history, and the first media activation of its kind tied to an in-case promotion. Hockey Night in Canada posed a challenge on how to break through the clutter of sponsors but we were able to create a compelling and highly-ownable experiential media experience with consumers like never before.
To kick off each game, we first tapped into a powerful cultural moment: the singing of “O Canada”. During the anthem, the lights were dimmed and thousands of glasses were triggered to flash “red” when the lyrics “with glowing hearts” were sung, with fans’ raised arms lighting up the arena in patriotic unity.
Once the puck dropped we let the home teams electrify the audience with every goal scored. We synced each glass to every home goal, turning the arena into a brilliant sea of red by pumped-up fans with Budweisers in-hand.
We amplified Canada’s first-ever goal-synced experience through the country’s biggest weekly sports broadcast, Hockey Night in Canada. We collaborated with show producers to have the show’s host, legendary broadcaster Don Cherry, introduce the Red Light activation during Coach’s Corner on live TV, where he raised a Budweiser Red Light Glass to thousands of loyal viewers.
To maximize our partnership, we amplified the activation across Rogers’ extensive properties, including branded footage in highlight reels during Sportsnet programming. Lower thirds were activated during broadcast to inform fans that Red Light glasses were also available in-case, driving sales of our red hot team-branded drink wear.
To build further excitement, we created the hashtags #LightUpVancouver and #LightUpCalgary, targeting Western Canadian fans and amplifying buzz through Sportsnet’s Facebook and Twitter channels. We also fueled passions through local radio celebrities in Calgary, including popular radio host Dean Molberg on the Fan 960, who let fans know the glasses were coming to their city next.
Creative agency: Anomaly
Experiential: Mosaic Canada
Public Relations: Veritas Communications
Technology Partner: Buzz Products