Molson encourages guys to have less sex, more 'Ex'

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TORONTO--Guys who have been having too muchsex -- yes, too much -- launch a tongue-in-cheekeffort for Canada's Export beer, a once-proudbrand getting a major new push.

Molson Canada aims to again make Export a major contender with a humorous campaign thatkicks off with one premise: Guys can't justhave sex all the time but need to make somespace in their lives for hanging out withfriends.

"Its classic male image has eroded over time.Export was a brand in need of a significant relaunch," says Brand VP Rob Guenette.

A first 30-second TV spot opens with an average-looking fellow barging into a darkened room,interrupting a scruffy guy named Bob and a girlfriend just as they're getting passionate.

"Lucky I turned up," the friend with the poortiming tells the camera. "Bob here's been having a bit too much sex." As viewers hear thatlife's "all about balance," Bob is escorted toa room of guys watching sports as the friendexplains "There's a time to have sex and there'sa time to hang out with the guys, take it easyand drink an Ex."

Then as the fellows sympathetically lamentthat they too are always having to have sex,Bob comes to his senses: "Thanks for getting meaway from all that sex," he says.

The tagline ends: "Had Ex Today?"

Behind the campaign is new agency HHCL & Partners, London, which Mr. Guenette says came tothe assignment "without the geographical category paradigms" that might otherwise be found ina Canadian shop. This is the first Molson workfor HHCL, which landed the account in Novemberlast year.

Budget wasn't disclosed but Molson says it'sspending big to boost the fortunes of Export,which 15 years ago had a 15% market share. Itwas 10% a decade ago. "We're lucky if it's halfthat now," Mr. Guenette says.

The campaign will incluide two other 30-secondspots, print ads, on-premise creative, POS, promotions and a special tie-in Web site(www.hadextoday.com) launching in the first weekof October.

Handling media for the push is Young & Rubicam'sMedia Edge, Toronto.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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