We made Canadian Club Don Draper’s drink of choice in Mad Men, and provided a platform to build a national advertising campaign partnership.
Beam Global tasked Hollywood Branded to source and secure television product placement that would catch the attention of the brand’s core older male demographic while creating a hip engagement to broaden the core consumer to a younger generation for the brand Canadian Club.
Hollywood Branded’s team went well above and beyond the request. We researched relevant shows, and as part of the overall initiative secured the opportunity to incorporate Canadian Club through the production crew at AMC’s Mad Men for Season 4. The brand was a natural fit for the show, as whisky was historically the drink of choice for many advertising executives in the heyday of the TV’s time period. Our team then worked with the client and TV production to design – and glue – historically accurate labels to place on the bottles on the series.
After 17 consecutive years of declining sales, Canadian Club has obtained 4.3% annual sales growth since the debut on Mad Men. While Beam does not attribute all the sales growth to the TV exposure, the company believes it has reinvigorated popular perceptions of the product. The AMC hit lends Canadian Club a bit of pop culture cachet. The exposure has been crucial for new demographics Canadian Club is trying to reach: younger drinkers, and women. For years, whisky was seen as a tired product more suited to older men, but the popularity of the TV show means the very age of the drink is what makes it hip.
During Season Four alone, Canadian Club appeared on screen over a dozen times with ad exec Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and became a core element to Draper’s character. The brand became part of the storyline and appears through the final season of the series. The partnership was such a success for the client that they chose to then raise the bar, and create a national advertising campaign co-promoting the television series through co-branded digital media efforts and drink pouring at Mad Men events.
Organic press coverage secured has been immense – just Google “Mad Men” and “Canadian Club”.
“It has made a huge impact on the brand,” Tish Harcus, Beam Global’s curator of archives said of the liquor’s TV stardom, which has given an air of excitement to a segment of the liquor industry that hadn’t had much lift in recent years. “People are talking about it again, and it’s visible to young consumers. People are looking for authenticity, not just in whisky, but in products overall…These historical periods – we were the brand that was there.”
“We’re very proud to be a part of this series to date. CC was definitely an inherent part of that era and it’s wonderful that the writers and directors have considered to use our brand, bringing the classy CC whisky image across to our mutual consumers.” Don Tullio, Canadian Club’s Brand Ambassado.
Beyond the results for the client, we have to tell you that many of the ad executives we meet with have proudly taken us into their office to show us their own bottle of Canadian Club sitting in a place of honor, that someone bought and gifted to them (or they bought for themselves!) due to the influence of this integration. That certainly answers the question, “Does product placement work?”
The Mad Men drink of choice – because if you can’t be Don Draper, you can at least drink like him.