Canadian Club: Repositioning a Dormant Brand

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG241 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Consumer Behavior / Marketing Communications / Brand Management / Repositioning
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Beam Global Spirits & Wine
Industry : Spirits
Countries : United States


This case is about US-based premium spirits company, Beam Global Spirits & Wine's (Beam Global) award-winning 'Damn Right Your Dad Drank It' campaign to promote its Canadian Club brand of whisky in November 2007. The campaign was launched with the aim of reviving a 150-year-old brand, Canadian Club Whisky, which was perceived by the younger generation in US as their dad's drink, and hence 'not cools'. The brand had witnessed a continuous decline in sales for 17 years from the 1990s as a result of a combination of factors like erosion of brand value, weakening of marketing efforts, change in cocktail culture toward vodka-based drinks, and the entry of competitors in the market. The 'Damn Right Your Dad Drank It' campaign adopted a strategy that turned the brand's primary criticism - 'your dad's drink' into its campaign's central theme.

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The retro-themed campaign featured a series of print ads depicting the 1960s and 1970s era that showed 'fathers' as a classic personification of unpretentious masculinity. The ads included provocative taglines that sought to remind consumers that theirs dads were masculine, stylish, and cool and that they embodied these traits through their choice of drink consisting of whisky cocktails made with CC. The campaign was a multilayered one including viral marketing elements. The campaign was backed by billboards, point-of-sale (POS) items, radio advertising, out-of-home advertising, in-market events, and experiential elements. The campaign not only rejuvenated the moribund brand but also turned its falling sales curve around. But some critics opined that the campaign ads were offensive and also contended that the campaign theme was sexist.


Understand the issues and challenges of repositioning and reviving a dormant brand.

Analyze the marketing efforts for Canadian Club over the years and the new 'Damn Right Your Dad Drank It' advertising campaign.

Understand the consumer insights that prompted Beam to launch this ad campaign and how the company uncovered these through marketing research.

Study how the advertising campaign was executed and analyze the results.

Explore ways in which the company could have made the 'Damn Right Your Dad Drank It' campaign more effective and also explore branding strategies that the brand management team can adopt in the future.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 3
Earlier Campaigns 4
The Challenge 5
The "Damn Right Your Dad Drank It" Campaign 7
Some Initial Reactions 9
The Results 11
Looking Ahead 13
Exhibits 14


Consumer behavior, Market research, Ethnographic investigation, Personality, Performance imagery, User imagery, Personal drive imagery, Need state imagery, Psychological drives, Positioning, Repositioning, Retro-themed campaign, Brand awareness, Brand image, Advertising, US Spirits Market

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