Steam Whistle campaign seems to be an acquired taste

Andris Pone is a Toronto-based brand strategy consultant

Full disclosure: Steam Whistle is my favourite beer. I’ve fully bought in to its premium/craft/heritage brand position, embodied in the historic Steam Whistle Roundhouse, in which every bottle is brewed. So this ad resonates with me. I recognize that the centrality of the bottle opener reinforces the brand position, because I know that SteamWhistle uses bottles that are not twist-off: because management believes twist-off caps are detrimental to product freshness and ergo, unworthy of lovingly-made brew. Noncustomers will miss this vital association and be left watching a bunch of beer bottles being opened, not an enormous step up from watching paint dry. And so the ad succeeds if it’s intended only to strengthen bonds with existing customers — and not to acquire new ones.

National Post

July 24, 2009

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