Tipsy elephants trampling Toronto and Montreal

OK, the beasts are actually ambling peacefully on streetcar and bus wraps, but we hear they're wacko about the fruit base of the liqueur they're promoting.

Why are elephants starring in Cossette Media’s multifaceted campaign for Amarula liqueur, which broke in Montreal and Toronto this week? Because the beverage is derived from southern Africa’s marula fruit. And legend has it that pachyderms sniff the tasty treat from afar and trek enthusiastically to imbibe.

Amarula has actually been quaffed in Canada for several years, after first being imported by Oakville, Ont.-based PMA. But when Cossette’s Toronto shop landed the account this spring, it set to work on what media planner Kimberley Reid describes as a major campaign that’s akin to a launch. ‘We’re doing a big blow-out leading up to the holidays.’

The promotion has a teaser element. Streetcars in Toronto and buses in Montreal have exterior wraps with depictions of Amarula bottles as well as elephants. But interior signage on the transit vehicles give no hints about the product except for its exotic origin, saying only ‘Amarula. Africa now in Canada.’

The remaining components in the nearly three-month campaign will begin rolling out next week, starting with what Reid calls ‘mini-domination’ in subway stations in Montreal and Toronto plus floor and wall decals. Simultaneously, transit shelters will be wrapped and, later on, there will be 10′ x 20′ side-by-sides, column signage and mini-boards in bars and restaurants in both cities.

Shortly after that, online advertising will appear on entertainment-oriented websites – in English on,, and in French on several Quebec-based sites. And a print ad will appear in the December issue of Food & Drink.