Magazine article Marketing

Bobby Sox It to Molson

Magazine article Marketing

Bobby Sox It to Molson

Article excerpt

Bobby sox it to Molson

Canada is a funny old place. First it boasts of a national airline with flights so good you won't want to get off; now it boasts a larger so bad you wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

Bob McCabe is the one to blame for Jim Dunk, the podgy, balding, bit-part actor who appeals to the British "subtle" sense of humour by tempting them to drink Molson lager because it tastes horrible.

It would seem that McCabe, Molson Breweries' international vice-president for marketing, says don't drink it too. His favourite nectar is, I learn, something called Koors Lite, from a brewer based in Colorado, USA.

Attempting to transfer Molson's reigning 52% share of the Canadian market to the UK, I cannot feel the omens are good as McCabe holds forth in his London office two floors above the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. But he seems happy enough.

The first thing you realise about beer people is that they have no conception of the term "larger lout". Or if they do, none will admit to targeting the phenomenon.

"We are aiming for the upscale, white collar, better educated, more knowledgeable lager drinker," says McCabe. "The Jim Dunk campaign challenged those drinkers to try the product. We do not have that level of sophistication in Canada."

It is not surprising to learn, therefore, that there were a few blank faces back in the Toronto boardroom when the lights went up after a reel of Jim Dunk. "Don't remind me," says McCabe. "We have had to explain it to a lot of Canadians. …

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