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TORONTO -- Seagram's Crown Royal uses a visually impaired actor to illustrate the sensory experience of the smooth tasting premium whiskey in its new TV campaign.

The commercial, in 30- and 15-second versions, has been developed by Grey global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, but is only appearing in Canada, where alcoholic beverages can be advertised on network TV, said Mary Futher, director of marketing, Canadian Whiskies, for Seagram, Toronto.

"Our goal was to artistically illustrate that Crown Royal is a true sensory experience," said Graham Button, creative director at Grey New York. "By choosing Peter Seymour, a visually impaired actor for the role, 'Senses' spotlights this experience from an entirely different perspective."

The 30-second spot ties into Crown Royal's advertising theme: "That's smooth." It shows a handsome, visually impaired man walking into a bar and ordering a Crown Royal. A nearby patron comments to his friend, "You know, they say when you're blind, all your other senses become heightened." The viewer then is treated to the sensory experience of the how the drink tastes, smells and looks. Humor is injected when the actor acknowledges attractive ladies making eyes at him, to the surprise of the other patrons.

The commercials are appearing on the prime-time season finales of such shows as Friends, Frasier, The X-Files, Drew Carey and Will & Grace, as well as on broadcasts of sporting events such as Toronto Blue Jays baseball games and the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs.

Sold worldwide, Crown Royal holds 33% of the premium whiskey category in Canada and 14% of overall Canadian whiskey sales. The product was originally created in 1939 as a gift for Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to commemorate their visit to Canada. -- Gail Chiasson

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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