Award Category

Unity Communications

Beam Suntory

Collaborating Partners
ARN & Emotive


Canadian Club had been seeing consistent growth, but was being overshadowed by competitors, especially when it came to targeting a younger crowd. The brand had ambitious targets of a 50% boost in social conversations, strong trade and retailer involvement and feedback and 10% incremental value growth in sales across the campaign.


Unity Communications landed on the insight that while what is cool changes, the basis always remains the same — the confidence to be different. Matched with the brand’s heritage of being tongue−in−cheek, Unity decided to celebrate the 'uncool' and use the assets of media partners ARN and Emotive to bring it to the public. The idea, #BadSweater, tied Canadian Club to a new event, ‘Bad Sweater Day’, launched by radio show, Kyle and Jackie O, live on air. In anticipation of the day, listeners and celebrity guests were encouraged to wear their sweaters by the radio duo and share images on social media using the dedicated hashtag. Each morning, Canadian Club−branded sweaters were given away through street teams with listeners encouraged to go into stores in order to win their own. To spread the campaign further, video bloggers were selected to encourage the movement among their own audiences, with social media content housed organically and also pulled into the brand’s social channels. When bad sweater day arrived, over 180 winners and trade guests were joined by Kyle and Jackie O for a party, featuring a custom−made bar and Canadian Club.


Unity Communications credits the influencer−led, as opposed to brand−led roll−out to the organic growth in the bad sweater movement. Canadian Club’s influencers delivered almost 800,000 video views. Before the campaign, the brand had 36.5 hours of viewing on its YouTube channel and following it had received 537 days and eight hours of total viewing. Almost 500 people posted their bad sweater moment to social media and the brand saw 56,000 social interactions. In addition, there was a 636% increase in social conversations, exceeding objectives by more than 10 times the initial targets. Retail partners also jumped on the movement themselves, which saw Canadian Club reach record−breaking growth during the campaign period. Sales of its ready−to−drink range grew 22% and sales of its promo 10 pack grew by 178% year−on−year.