Dentsu launches Sapporo’s first national Canadian campaign

Sleeman Breweries Limited has launched a new ad campaign from Dentsu Canada that centres around the discipline and attention that goes into brewing its Sapporo beer label. The effort includes a two-minute video that combines live action with animation to tell the story of the brand’s history and how it’s brewed. The video is now […]
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Sleeman Breweries Limited has launched a new ad campaign from Dentsu Canada that centres around the discipline and attention that goes into brewing its Sapporo beer label.

The effort includes a two-minute video that combines live action with animation to tell the story of the brand’s history and how it’s brewed. The video is now online at SapporoBeer.ca, and has also been edited down for a series of 15-second TV commercials, as well as a 60-second spot.

“We wanted something distinctly Sapporo and wanted to go through the heritage and the brewing process and combine the Japanese flavour but take it beyond sushi and make it mainstream,” said Glen Hunt, creative catalyst, Dentsu Canada.

The campaign is the first full-scale national effort in Canada and the first of any sort for the Toronto-based agency since taking the account over in January 2009. Sleeman had not worked with a full-service agency since 2007, when Doug (now Doug & Serge) held agency of record status.

The campaign took one and a half years of planning, and six months to shoot. The agency developed five distinct campaign ideas before narrowing it down to three, which were presented to the client, said Hunt.

“Each one of them had a wonderful response [but] ‘Legendary’ was their favourite,” he said.

Parts of the ad were shot in China in front of a green screen, and then brought back to Toronto where each shot was placed in position on a “map painting” and given a “3D type effect so that it created depth,” said Hunt.

Dentsu also assisted Concrete in the design of a new 500 ml can that features Japanese script meaning “premium” and the historic Sapporo “north” star embossed on the front.

“We know our consumers not only demand a high quality product, but also a brand that conveys attributes that appeal to their individuality,” said Kenny Sadai, president and CEO of Sleeman Breweries, in a release. “We felt tapping into the brand’s Japanese heritage and bringing to life the essence of ‘Biru’ would further illustrate those qualities.”

Later this month Sapporo is launching a microsite with a contest that asks consumers to locate the hidden scrolls placed throughout the video for a chance at a trip to Japan.

Sons & Daughters and Crush managed production, Lollipop was responsible for the interactive, and Grayson Matthews created the music featured in the spot.

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