James Ready? Who is James Ready(?) was the question being asked a few months ago when the Canadian beer brand started hitting the media for the marketing awards it was winning for its innovative outdoor billboard campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD. So, for those of you not familiar with Ontario’s micro-brewing industry, James Ready is not a person but a brand of beer brewed since 1875 by the James Ready Brewing Company in Niagara Falls, Canada. Its campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD, created by Leo Burnett, just won a Gold Lion at Cannes yesterday for its innovative outdoor advertising campaign. The award recognizes the James Ready campaign’s creative approach and its ability to engage with young beer drinkers to create a local buzz in the market.
The James Ready Canadian advertising campaign, SHARE OUR BILLBOARD. made a splash by plastering 106 billboards in southern Ontario, asking people to keep the price of James Ready beer at $1 per bottle by sharing in the cost of the billboard campaign. Classified ads appeared in local Canadian newspapers with a similar message as to the outdoor advertising campaign. People were asked to, “Help us keep James Ready a buck. Share our billboard.” Billboard messages steered people to a website www.jamesready.com where they could post their best offer (no actual cost was accepted) and upload messages and photos to be included in the billboard. The result – on a first-come-first-serve basis, people’s submissions were posted on individual local billboards with a tag line from James Ready Beer thanking them for keeping the price of the beer at $1! The people showcased in the SHARE OUR BILLBOARD campaign became local celebrities in their communities, creating further buzz for James Ready beer and prompting many conversations at water coolers and bars in the area!
The James Ready SHARE OUR BILLBOARD campaign has already won numerous awards including Andy, Marketing, and OBIE awards. You can see a short video clip of this Canadian campaign below: