2017 Winner

Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.

Light Up The Nation


BronzeConnection Strategy

In Canada, hockey is life. It is also critical to winning in the competitive beer category, as it represents the largest beer-drinking occasion in the country.

However, Molson Canadian holds the official league sponsorship, putting Budweiser’s largest competitor at centre ice of every game.

Molson’s association with hockey through this sponsorship created a connection with the same fans Budweiser needed to target. For the 2016 hockey season, the brand set out to further own and elevate hockey’s most electrifying and celebrated moment: the goal.

So, to bring people closer to the game, Budweiser and agency Anomaly created a game-synced hockey goal light glass that went off every time Canada scored in a game. The idea allowed the brand to tie goals directly to the product and celebrations surrounding the sport.

Eight months before the first puck drop in Toronto, the brand declared its intention to “Light up the Nation.” Starting with a 60-second Super Bowl spot, the brand introduced Canada’s Goal Light, a 25-foot-tall fully functioning goal light set to light up every time Canada scored a goal.

Budweiser also announced that it would be embarking on an audacious two-month journey to the top of the world in the deep Canadian arctic where the light would literally light up the nation with each Canadian goal.

This was backed with a tactical 30-seond spot, social campaign, and PR push as Budweiser toured Canada’s Goal Light around the country, stopping in seven major cities. Fans could sign up on Budweiser.ca to have their names engraved on the light alongside those of hockey heroes Wayne Gretzky, Paul Henderson, and Don Cherry.

In the end, the brand engraved more than 20,000 names on the country’s new beacon of goal celebration. Three weeks before fans took to the stands, the team introduced the goal-synced beer glass with a TV spot and social campaign.

The goal-synced glass was free in specially marked cases of Budweiser and users could sync it with the Budweiser Red Light app so it would light up every time a goal was scored.

A total of 500,000 glasses were distributed.
The team also extended the idea by goal-syncing pretty much every piece of media possible, from phones and social feeds to billboards and retail displays. Every goal Canada scored became a massive celebratory chain reaction with Budweiser at the heart of it all.

The Red Light app landed on the top spot in the Apple App Store. Glasses began appearing on eBay for upwards of $100, a 95% price increase from Budweiser’s cost to manufacture them.

The brand also grew its market share by 0.28 points versus the previous year and tracked 95 million media impressions, making this the highest ever-earned reach for a Budweiser hockey campaign.

Brand: Labatt Brewing Company (Budweiser)
Agency: Anomaly
VP, marketing: Kyle Norrington
Brand director: Andrew Oosterhuis
Senior brand manager: Candy Lee
Brand manager: John Patrito
Trade activation manager: Lindsay Olimer
ECDs: Pete Breton, Dave Douglass
ACD/CW: Jamie Marcovitch
ACD/AD: Todd Cornelius
ACD/CW: Craig McIntosh
ACD/AD: Jaimes Zentil
CW: Brendon Scullion
AD: Max Bingham
Designer: Andy Slater
Managing director: Candace Borland
Account director: Matt Holton
Director of communications strategy: Paul Lipson
Account executive: Thomas Gaylor
Social manager: Chris Campaner
Head of production: Leanne McLellan
Print production: 7thfl
Print producer: Rob Murray
Public relations: Veritas Communications
Experiential: Mosaic Canada
Media: UM Canada
Trade activation: Hunter Straker
Product design: Buzz Products

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.