Wiser’s looking for more uncompromising men

In a field of manly whisky brands, Wiserhood still tests strong Wiser’s whisky is giving “The Wiserhood” campaign an encore, marking the comeback of its signature slow clap. A new 30-second spot by Toronto’s John St. features a supportive clap from a group of dapper men – the “Wisherhood” – as they show their approval […]

Alicia Androich October 16, 2013

In a field of manly whisky brands, Wiserhood still tests strong

Wiser’s whisky is giving “The Wiserhood” campaign an encore, marking the comeback of its signature slow clap.

A new 30-second spot by Toronto’s John St. features a supportive clap from a group of dapper men – the “Wisherhood” – as they show their approval to a dude who scores a mini-victory for men everywhere. In this case, the dude in question is at a movie theatre picking something to watch with his girlfriend. Thankfully for him, she inadvertently chooses a Terminator-like sci-fi flick because of its romantic-sounding title: Swan Song. The “Society of Uncompromising Men” applauds the win from across the lobby.

The “Swan Song” spot is the newest installment of the Wiserhood campaign for Corby Distilleries Limited. John St.’s first Wiserhood campaign after winning Corby Distilleries’ business launched five years ago, when it created a multiplatform campaign around the Wiserhood’s secret society. The related TV spots introduced viewers to Wiser’s version of the slow clap. Carve turkey with an electric blade? Not on the Wiserhood’s watch. They applauded when a man used a traditional carving knife instead.

The Wiserhood campaign was brought back in 2010. At the time, John St. partner and executive creative director Angus Tucker described the basic structure of the campaign as “guys refusing to compromise.” Fans were prompted to send one another support using the brand’s Slow Clap App as part of that installment of the campaign.

Laura Bruce, Corby’s senior brand manager of Canadian Whisky, told Marketing that since Wiserhood signed off more than a year ago, a lot of consumer research informed discussions of bringing the concept back.

Even though many other alcohol brands rely on “guy’s guys” (like Canadian Club’s “chairman” who brags about his thick chest hair) and embrace rough roots (like Sleeman’s gangster-filled past), Bruce said research showed that The Wiserhood still resonates with consumers.

“They find it humourous and intelligent,” she said. “Consumers get the concept of uncompromising… You don’t want to compromise with your whisky.”

To encourage awareness and trial, the newest revival of campaign also has social media elements, print and digital ads and on-premise and retail strategies.

There’s also a branded contest that allows Wiser’s fans across Canada to try to win a role in an upcoming TV spot slated to air next fall. Hosted on Facebook, the contest lets entrants fill out a registration form to try to become a finalist for the TV spot role. Next, 200 semi-finalists will have to answer a series of questions (all related to the notion of being uncompromising, to keep with The Wiserhood’s ethos) to help a judging committee narrow them down to a group of 15 finalists.

Fans will then rank the finalists based on who they think had the best answers. Voting will take place from February to April 2014 and forget thumbs up or thumbs down – voters will show their approval or disapproval of the finalists’ answers with a “slow clap” or a “no clap.”

After the integrated “Wiser’s Wants You!” campaign finishes, Bruce said her team will continue testing The Wiserhood concept to ensure it still appeals to consumers and is relevant to them.

Vizeum did the media buy for “Wiser’s Wants You!” Hill+Knowlton Strategies handled PR, Isobar did digital media and Commix did in-store activation.