Cold Ones, a new non-alcoholic beer, tells drinkers to ‘Enjoy irresponsibly’

Wunderman Thompson Canada’s work for the brand aims to embrace all the fun of drinking with none of the alcohol

Published On
Aug 23, 2023
Outdoor posters for Cold Ones non-alcoholic beer

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A stigma around non-alcoholic beer—and abstaining from alcohol in general—is that it’s less fun. But now, a new non-alcoholic beer is suggesting the opposite, by cleverly inverting one of alcoholic beer’s signature phrases.

Cold Ones, a new 0.0% ABV beer based in Toronto, is developing a campaign with Wunderman Thompson Canada that encourages drinkers to “Enjoy irresponsibly,” a twist on the traditional “Enjoy responsibly” message and an exhortation for people to think differently about whether alcohol is the key to having a good time.

“The best thing about beer has never been the alcohol, it’s the ritual,” said Tom McCole, the brand’s co-founder. “We wanted to capture the spirit of the memories people associate with beer and prove that they were never about the alcohol after all.”

This video from WT gives an overview of the brand development:


As the agency explored potential imagery for the brand, it leaned into photographs that evoke drinking occasions—softball games, concerts, kitchen parties, cookouts and more. Using such imagery for a non-alcoholic brand emphasizes that the enjoyment of such times comes from socializing, not from being buzzed. The “Enjoy irresponsibly” line captures this nicely, suggesting such occasions can be just as wild, unpredictable and full of life—intoxicating in their own way—as when they’re fueled by alcohol.

Cold Ones is putting these images right on its cans, to make this positioning central to the product.

An assortment of Cold Ones cans

An assortment of Cold Ones cans

An assortment of Cold Ones cans

“We wanted to flip the non-alcoholic category on its head,” said Ari Elkouby, chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson Canada. “We had the opportunity to break all of the rules that normally exist when you’re marketing beer by becoming the first ‘irresponsible’ non-alcoholic brand in the market.”

The brand also worked the 0.0% seamlessly into its wordmark by aligning the O’s in the words Cold and Ones, as seen on the label, merch and so on.

Example of a Cold Ones label

Cold Ones merch and social media imagery

More Cold Ones labels

The brand is not yet on store shelves, but expects to be later this year—as it’s currently securing partnerships with investors and distribution partners across Canada.


Aug 23, 2023
Client :
Cold Ones
Agency :
Wunderman Thompson Canada
Founder :
Tom McCole
Founder :
Alexander Rickett
Chief Creative Officer :
Ari Elkouby
Associate Creative Director :
Kyle Carpenter
Associate Creative Director :
Jose Rivas
Design Director :
Mike Butler
Director of Integrated Content :
Jennifer Cotton

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