Beam Embraces 'Timeless Masculinity' for Canadian Club

New Ads Reposition Whiskey Brand for 'Mad Men,' Not Old Men

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Beam Global Wine & Spirits vowed earlier this year to dedicate all of its ad dollars toward generating word-of-mouth, and the first national campaign for its Canadian Club whisky brand shows it wasn't kidding.
Beam is looking to position CC as a 'masculine, classic cocktail.'
Beam is looking to position CC as a 'masculine, classic cocktail.'

The print/
out-of-home/radio effort from Energy BBDO, Chicago, the brand's first national campaign in 20 years, features the tagline "Damn right your dad drank it," and seeks to position Canadian Club as an old-school, masculine choice, in part by redefining Dad as less Ward Cleaver and more "Mad Men."


Dad the party animal
One early print execution -- lined with photos of Dad fraternizing with myriad women -- aims for shock value: "Your mom wasn't your dad's first," the ad reads. "He went out. He got two numbers in the same night. He drank cocktails. But they were whisky cocktails. Made with Canadian Club served in a rocks glass."

"'Damn Right' is positioned to expose the brand to a new consumer who appreciates the notion of timeless masculinity; most importantly a masculine, classic cocktail," Dennis Prado, Canadian Club's brand director, said in a press release. "It signifies a vital shift for CC."

Beam also vowed to significantly increase spending behind the brand, which has received scant measured media support in recent years. The brand -- the No. 4 Canadian whiskey brand in the U.S. -- has seen its case depletions decline to 1.3 million cases in 2006, down from 1.4 million in 2000. That's a slightly faster rate of decline than the also-slumping brown-spirits market, according to the alcohol trade magazine Impact.

Canadian Club lost significant ground during that period to the No. 1 brand, Diageo's Crown Royal, which gained 1.1 million cases to 3.8 million during the same period.
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