Molson bets bucks on belief in Elvis

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TORONTO -- Newly relaunched beer Molson Golden has tripled its market share over the last two months and is now turning to the King in its latest move to keep up the momentum.

Golden is the title sponsor of the third annual Elvis Tribute and Convention from July 25-28 in the town of Collingwood, Ontario, in the province's so-called cottage country. About 80,000 people are expected this year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the singer's death.

Golden languished with no support for five years before Molson relaunched the brand in mid-May in the Ontario market, Canada's biggest. Its share has jumped to more than 1.5% from about half a percent on creative from small independent agency Brand Works, Toronto. Ads using the slogan, "The True Color of Beer," have run on radio, TV, in print and outdoor.

Price cuts from the brewery boosted sales of select brands in recent weeks but Golden's success came before that move, says marketing spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud. "We can attribute advertising and promotions 100% for the tripling of the sales," she says.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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