The Saint Commercial (2017)

Click here to watch the full commercial

Introduction

Mascot Brewery is a 3-storey brick-and-mortar in downtown Toronto, producing and selling craft beer as well as operating one of the largest venues in the city. We worked with them to produce their St. Patrick’s Day event, in an attempt to market the venue and associated craft beer.


Step One

The challenge we were presented with.

Mascot Brewery is known as one of the ‘cool kids’ in the Toronto scene. Set up in the quickly degrading entertainment district, they burst onto the scene with a grungy yet curiously refined persona – the antithesis of the current past-their-expiry-date bars and clubs in the area.

Mascot focused on an unpretentious atmosphere, genuinely good music, and an amazing bar-staff. They built their bar menu on the foundation of great beer, quickly forming associations with some of Toronto’s other well-known breweries as well as brewing their own on-premise. 

But Mascot was not without its problems. The venue is made up of three floors, each with a distinct vibe: the first floor is a restaurant, the second floor a nightclub, and the third floor an open-air beer garden. This setup was the foundation of the venue’s great reputation across the city, but also made it difficult to market cohesively for large events. It seemed as if the venue lost their ‘it’ factor when over-marketed.

The pressure to perform on St. Patrick’s Day is very high for any venue, especially a brewery. Mascot Brewery wanted to make execute an event that made an impact around the city, while still keeping their integrity-driven brand intact.

Step Two

Our response to the challenge we were presented with.

We wanted a brand that was inclusive, and made people feel like they mattered. To counteract the contempt that consumers display towards large-scale events, it was important to represent a feeling of democratization within the brand. ‘The Saint’ personifies each St. Patrick’s Day attendee as a saint on a day notoriously associated with binge drinking. Additionally, we chose a halo as the central motif throughout the events branding. Not only did we feel like the simplicity let Mascot’s brand strength shine through, but that our target market would easily connect with the theme. More on this later, but we knew that a user-generated content strategy would be crucial to success.

We decided to compartmentalize the marketing by constructing sub-brands on each day, with three programming elements per day. On Friday we used Open Cask, a microbrew-centric event offering free samples from the native Mascot Pilsner, as well as a curated selection from local breweries. On saturday, the highlight was ‘Green Eggs & Fam’, a playful and inclusive twist on the Seussian best-seller. Brunch included green eggs benny, among other dishes.  

But the problem of how to reach a wide audience without a feeling of ‘over-advertising’ persisted. We reached out to local fashion brands Untitled&Co. and Mr. Saturday, creating an organic, yet unmistakeable brand association by getting them to create user-generated content related to the event. 

Furthermore, we were able to tempt influential party-goers to re-post about the event by taking advantage of the organic feeling we constructed in our branding package, and the simplicity of the halo motif. Lastly, we mobilized the significant number of bar-staff and DJ’s to post by scheduling a shoot in our office studio where we took professional photos, adding the halo theme in post-production.

Step Three

How we executed our campaign objectives.

In putting together our marketing plan, the timing of each piece was very important. We had to build interest methodically to properly take advantage of our organic approach to marketing the event.

First, we released our flagship piece of video content. We cast the video with our promotional team for the event, along with the previously mentioned fashion companies we were working with. This video illustrated the concept of the brand, and emphasized the inclusive nature of the event. Next, we released the sub-brands over the course of two weeks. This ensured there was a constant flow of high-quality content that we could distribute through social media. Finally, we leveraged the online traction the event was forming to engage in our influencer approach.

The end result was a success. The event garnished 1800 attendees over two days. Every tier of pre-sale tickets were sold out, with an additional rush of attendees paying at the door according to venue capacity. The event also included over 200k cumulative social media impressions – most of which were user-generated.

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