Grey New York Explores the Roots of Crown Royal in New Campaign

By Patrick Coffee 

You may think of Crown Royal as the market leader in Canadian Whiskeys with Fancy Purple Bags, but Grey New York knows better.

There’s a good bit going on in the company’s own (slightly inflated) origin story, presented in epic fashion by Grey’s latest campaign from last week. See, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Canada in 1939, three years after George had taken the throne…and Seagrams President Samuel Bronfman wanted to create a super-fancy whiskey to celebrate their arrival.

The rest, as they say, is advertising.


That was certainly epic, and we hear that Bronfman really did present the stuff (which was available only in Canada for its first 25 years) to the royal couple in a purple-for-nobility bag.

Additional shorts offer a bit of context and explanation. “Choices,” for example, lets us know that this was a labor-intensive project.

For example, there was “The Water.”

Then there was “The Grain,” which lived a modest life.

According to a book we haven’t read, Bronfman came up with the idea for the first “drink responsibly” campaign–and pastors everywhere loved him for it. The aforementioned book also claims that Bronfman’s true genius lay in “bestowing the glass coronet’s lordly sleeve – that purple velvet wampum bag of our lives.”

The brand is still best known for that bag, at least in part because the stuff inside it will not win any forthcoming liquor snob taste tests. But the bag would certainly come in handy as a place to store drugs and related paraphernalia if you were into that sort of thing! Not that we ever were.

Agency: Grey, New York, USA
President and Global Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
Chief Creative Officer: Andreas Dahlqvist
Executive Creative Directors: Ari Halper, Stephen Krauss
Group Creative Directors: Stu Mair, Anthony DeCarolis, Han Lin
Copywriters: Pieter Melief, David Cuccinello
Designer: Ryan Hoelting
Project Manager: Emma Tonetti
Project Manager: Beth Pelletier
Director Broadcast Production: Bennett McCarroll
Agency VP Producer: Floyd Russ
Agency Associate Producer: MJ Soler
Agency Music Producer: David Steinberg
Agency Senior Print Producer: Jack Segall
Agency Art Producer: Sarah Guidotti
Managing Director: Chris Ross
Account Director: Laura Hastings
Account Supervisor: Lyz Montague
Account Executive: Nicole Murphy
Planning: Benjamin Anderson
Planning: Oliver Gibson
Business Manager: Andrew DiDonna
Talent Manager: Alice Lambrides
Production Company: The Corner Shop
Director: Peter Thwaites
Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
Line Producer: Donald Taylor
Director of Photography: Joost Van Gelder
Production Service Company (South Africa): Migrate Films
Producer: Libbi Ball
Production Manager: Nikki Geater
Production Coordinator: Whitney Green
Art Director: Chris Bass
Costume Designer: Sylvia Van Heerden
Production Designer: Robin Brown
Editor: Stewart Reeves / Rock Paper Scissors
Executive Producer: Eve Kornblum
Assistant Editor: Sarah Welty
VFX/Post Production: Method Studios
Senior VFX Producer: Heather Saunders
Creative Director: Alvin Cruz
Lead Flame Artist: Tom Leckie
Flame Artist: Mackenzie Parker
Lead Nuke artist: Philip Luke
Nuke Artist: Amy Christensen
FX Artist: John Patterson
Lighting Artist: Mirelle Underwood
Modeler: Piotr Glabinski
Tracking supervisor: Brian Dinoto
Roto Supervisor: David Marte
Audio Mixer: Keith Reynaud
Audio Mixer: Phil Loeb
Audio Mixer: Mike Vitacco
Audio Producer: Sasha Awn
Audio Producer: Talia Rodgers
Audio EP: Gloria Pitagorsky
Principal Talent: TBC

Original music: Future Perfect Music