Kokanee restarts its Ranger advertising

August 24, 2011  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Labatt Breweries’ Kokanee beer brand is once again asking the public to help determine the fate of its Kokanee Ranger.

As we first wrote yesterday, the Western Canadian beer brand is searching for a replacement for the deceased Kokanee Ranger – whose fate was determined by fans in the 2008 “Ranger Live or Die” campaign – in a new Facebook-led marketing initiative.

Mike Bascom, national marketing manager for Kokanee in Toronto, said that while the beer brand’s marketing since the Ranger’s demise has focused on connecting the brand to the mountains, there have been nods to the long-running Ranger/Sasquatch rivalry through initiatives like this summer’s Facebook game “Stop Sasq.”

“We’ve told the story of the Ranger and the Kokanee-stealing sasquatch for many years now,” said Bascom, who said the campaign’s business objective is to “continue having a conversation with Kokanee fans and get them engaged with the beer.”

Developed by Toronto agency Grip Limited with media support from Universal McCann Canada, the “Next Ranger” campaign broke Aug. 15 and runs through late fall.

A 30-second TV spot promoting the initiative opens on the familiar Kokanee Ranger Cabin and shows the Ranger turning in his chair and proclaiming “Daddy’s b-a-a-a-ck – to protect glacier fresh Kokanee from the Sasquatch.”

His confidence is quickly shattered, however, when he reaches for a bottle of Kokanee and his hand passes through it. “Sweet sassy malassy,” he proclaims. “I’m dead. I’m really dead. You voted to get rid of me,” he says.

After he angrily proclaims “good luck finding a new Ranger,” the spot directs viewers to the NextRanger.ca site.

The URL takes visitors to a Facebook page with video profiles of six potential Kokanee Ranger replacements: Beer Fridge 2.0; a Toronto financier named Michael Baystreet; a buddy duo named Glacier and Fresh (currently the leading vote-getters with 43% of the vote); an 80s ski bum named Cory who has worn the same ski pants for 22 years; the foul-mouthed Glacier Goat and the Ranger’s mother, Ma Ranger.

Every two weeks, the “candidate” with the lowest number of votes – currently Michael Baystreet with a meagre 4% of the vote – is eliminated from the competition.

The marketing program also includes in-pack advertising with Kokanee cans featuring QR codes unique to each “candidate” that take users to their Facebook page when scanned with a mobile device.

Labatt has also partnered with Mosaic Experiential Marketing to create a series of political-type rallies featuring the candidates that will take place throughout Western Canada.

The begining of the end for the Kokanee Ranger (2008)

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