Canadian Mist Takes It Slow

PriceWeber’s first campaign for Canadian Mist is all about relaxing—Canadian style.

The Louisville, Ky., agency is launching a series of print and outdoor ads combining spectacular Canadian scenery with a “sip and savor” approach that research indicates appeals to fans of brown whiskey.

In one print piece, the copy—”Atmosphere is everything”—literally hangs like fog over a pristine lake.

“The notion of relaxation and reparative drinking drew tremendous feedback from consumers,” said Dan Kelley, vice president and brand general manager of Brown-Forman’s Canadian Mist. “In this campaign, atmosphere is everything.”

Porch swings, deck chairs and docks overlooking misty lakes are among the images that will drive the campaign in the next 18 months.

According to Kelley, the “Taste Canada’s best” tagline is an extrapolation of a highly successful Canadian Mist campaign (“Canada at its best”) that was introduced in the late 1980s.

“That campaign featured heroic landscapes and wildlife,” said Kelley. “This is the heritage of that work, but it adds a social iteration.”

Print will appear in male-oriented periodicals like Field & Stream, Sports Illustrated, Popular Mechanics, Outdoor Life and Playboy as well as regional and national newspapers including USA Today. No decision has been made on broadcast commercials.

PriceWeber will also build upon a successful package redesign program, which began two years ago. The effort has convinced Brown-Forman that brand sales can be expanded despite the fact that consumption of so-called “brown goods” (gin, tequila and vodka are “white goods”) liquor has continued to decline since the mid-1990s.

Sales of Canadian Mist gained4 percent following the repackaging promotion.

“There’s market share to be had,” insisted agency group executive creative director Larry Profancik, who noted that competing “popular premium” brands like Black Velvet and Canadian Club had cut back marketing efforts. “There’s plenty to steal. We have a product that matches up in taste with anything the competition has.”

Canadian Mist ranks second in the Canadian whiskey category behind Seagram’s Crown Royal.

PriceWeber won the estimated $7 million Canadian Mist account in a review last winter. The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., was the incumbent.