UPDATED - Molson Canadian gets in touch with its feminine side. And goes plaid.

While Miller Light and Coors Light battle breasts in Boobwar 2K3, USA's Great White North neighbor is getting mighty clever with its Miami agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Adding to Molson's excellent Twin Label Technology, they're now heading to magazine land with a decidedly different two-sided approach.

Hmm... Nice puppies.*

Meanwhile, Molson's been having some fun in its homeland too. Their new designs for their Big Bubba Beer mini-kegs, paying homage to the great Don Cherry, is pushing the envelope on Canadian advertising regulations in a way that might even be more controversial than catfights. For Canada, that is. Head to the bottom of this post for that story.

No doot aboot it - Go Molson!

First, here's the ad that gals will find in Cosmo...

Click here for the Molson Man website.

Secondly, here's the ad that guys will find in their manly magazines...

Click here for the Molson Twin Advertising website.

My review verdict? Brilliant stuff. 'Nuff said.

My only concern is that I might very well pickle my liver while trying to collect all 100+ of Molson Canadian's different twin labels. Oh well... It's a small price to pay for a great campaign (hic).


What's going on with Molson in Canada...

Molson Canada's debut of the "Don Cherry" campaign with the sports commentators likeness plastered across Molson Canadian bubba cans, and ads to promote them, got advertising watchers talking this week with questions as to whether Molson has started a move toward finding ways to use high-profile sports celebs in marketing, despite rules that restrict how they do so.

Ads by beer companies have been conspicuously void of sports figures and celebs for good reason: it has the potential to get them in hot water with regulators.

Here's an abbreviated version of the CRTC's code for broadcast advertising of alcoholic beverages: "Ads for alcoholic beverages shall not contain an endorsement of the product personally or by implication, either directly or indirectly by any person ... who is likely to be a role model for minors." The wording certainly leaves advertisers some wiggle room and Molson is obviously betting this campaign falls on the right side of the rules. (Don Cherry=role model? Debatable to be sure.)

The beer company said it did vet the campaign -- before it was shot -- with the Advertising Standards Council and the liquor and gaming commission. And Michelle Robichaud, a spokesman for the brewery points out: "We have research that show's that 87% of the Coach's Corner audience is over the legal drinking age." In other words, just 13% are under age: why worry?

Mr. Cherry is enormously popular and has made it known during on air chit-chat that he enjoys the odd beer, probably like most of his viewers. Don Cherry and Molson seem a marriage made in marketing heaven.

And all that has ad types, particularly those connected with the beer biz, wading in on the debate.

Labatt Breweries has not used celebrities or sports figures in its ads in recent history. But if this campaign manages to sail on without making too many "regulatory" waves, could it be long before Labatt counters with a celebrity promoter of its own? One industry watcher who knows the beer marketing game predicts this could be the start of something very interesting: "You open that Pandora's Box and where does it end?"

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

i've always been a fan of molsen's ads. if only the beer held up to the messaging.

i'm going to use that "at the intersection of confidence and compassion" on the ladies and see if i can "close the deal."

i wish i could work on such fun stuff!

AnonymousCoward's picture

the copy in the men's version of the ad is great.

Dabitch's picture


and the image is hilarious - hunky blond with puppies... Ooooooooh! *swoon* hahaha!

I think it would have worked better if it was a hunky blonde with kittens though. But i'm a cat person. ;-)

anonymous's picture

kittens, puppies..... This ad fails in cosmo and revives itself in the mens magazines - making me once again look for another beer. (I'm a female.....)

anonymous's picture

Anon, it's a joke! A moderately elaborate joke!

It's supposed to be schmaltzy in Cosmo.

anonymous's picture

I'm well aware that it is a joke - my point is that the Cosmo ad does not reveal the punchline to the average Cosmo-reader, so it's not funny to us (however - with the male version also in Cosmo a few pages later I would laugh heartily!).

Dabitch's picture

I probably wouldn't even notice the Cosmo ad... bah what am I saying, I never read Cosmo. Hawhaw!

Anon69's picture


anonymous's picture

yes - too damn funny!

It's sortof a play on that good old subliminal advertising myth/joke - with a new twist. Possibly a new trend again?


anonymous's picture

thank you so much for giving self respecting females a beer. bud's anti-female ads lost them at least 47 customers i know, and while men buy more beer, most realize that not many women like to be directly insulted, and will buy beer that gives them the best chance with the ladies:)

Dabitch's picture

Gotta Love it.

Also, Gotta love the comments over at MeFi now that they have spotted the ad.

"I think some of the best, funniest, most deviant minds of our generation are in advertising.

Or some of the misogynistic, chauvinistic, assholes...but, you know, whatever..."

Heh! This is truly a sink or swim idea - seems people love it or hate it (not decided by gender, probably decided by sense of humor).

anonymous's picture

I wanted to comment on that there - but signing up is closed.

So I'll comment here instead: There are plenty of chauvinistic, misogynistic assholes in advertising, and plenty of crazy deviant creative minds as well - we have a better average on the latter than any other business I can think of.

And why would deviant creative minds do something so evil as "channel that energy and power for nothing better than shilling product and making money." is usually because we have mouths to feed. It's a job, not all of us are a Picasso or Warhol in the making.

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