With momentum building in Canada, Molson Ultra launches new campaign

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For Molson Ultra, 2022 is poised to be a big year.

As Canadian drinkers emerge from their COVID bubbles and with the onset of warmer weather, more are migrating toward active outdoor lifestyles with an eye toward health and wellness. That’s translated to growing demand for what they perceive to be better-for-you options, such as lower-calorie food products and lower-alcohol beers.

Just like Molson Ultra, Molson’s low-calorie brand that boasts 70 calories and 2 grams of carbs per 355-militer serving, which posted 38% volume growth from 2019 to 2021, Molson Coors data show.

And as it launches its biggest campaign ever this week, the brand thinks there’s plenty more room for growth.

“Yes People,” which kicked off this week with a new slate of ads airing on national television, digital and social media, positions Molson Ultra as the beer for Canadians “who choose active lifestyles and don’t let things like our notorious cold weather stand in their way,” says Sophia Lal, the brand’s Toronto-based senior marketing manager.

The new spots, she says, “are not focused on cross-fit or the people running marathons. It’s people who choose to be active in their spare time and have fun with friends and family and celebrate afterward with a Molson Ultra.”

“Yes People” represents a convergence of Canadians’ humility and unapologetic niceness and their grit to get outdoors and participate in activities no matter the environment. The 30-second spot, along with companion 15-second and 6-second ads, showcases a series of active Canadians enjoying outdoor activities in less-than-ideal conditions.

While a golfer tees off in the snow, a bicyclist navigates a slushy street and a duo launches into what appears to be a chilly mountain lake, a narrator intones: “Are we Canadians just a bunch of ‘yes people?’ Well, if by ‘yes people’ you mean saying yes to getting outdoors even when the outdoors don’t want us there. ‘Yes’ to not easy, but so worth it. ‘Yes’ to all-out nights and all-in days. Because if that makes us ‘yes people’, then ‘yes we are.’ And with 70 calories, this is the beer we say yes to: Molson Ultra.”

The spots, the brand’s first since the onset of the pandemic, began airing this week and are slated for primetime play during the first rounds of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. They’re the first arm of the brand’s campaign, which will stretch through the remainder of the year, Lal says.

After a rebrand and a launch into slim cans in 2019, Molson Ultra sales have surged. With 3% alcohol by volume, the brand has found its way into more drinking occasions, like weeknights and day-time events where drinkers “feel like they have permission to have a great tasting beer without compromising on their health and wellness goals,” Lal says.

She’s optimistic that the new campaign will resonate with more drinkers and re-introduce them to the brand, which she says also benefits because of its Molson credentials.

“This is just the start,” she says. “Molson Ultra has a huge opportunity. It’s competitively placed in its category in both calories and ABV, which fit perfectly with the major consumer trends we’re seeing. We have a lot of ambition for this brand.”