Labatt’s bobbleheads tell cautionary tales

A four-phase campaign promotes responsible drinking through a series of webisodes.

As much as Canadians love beer, binge drinking or driving under the influence can have grave consequences, and Labatt wants to warn consumers against irresponsible drinking with a new four-season campaign.

Five bobble head characters star in a series of webisodes where they explain how they can no longer play guitar, or get away for the long weekend, following the car crash caused by a drunk driver. The campaign will live on a YouTube channel and the brand’s Facebook page, and is the extension of previous efforts by Labatt to promote responsible alcohol consumption, such as, explains Catherine Pringle, manager, corporate affairs, Labatt Breweries of Canada.

‘We really try to speak to young adults and try to engage them in discussion about moderation,’ Pringle tells MiC.

The campaign, which launched over the July 1 long weekend, is split into four themes that are related to large-scale partying – this weekend’s Canada Day is the launch of the campaign, but there will also be separate launches around back to school, Halloween and the December holiday season. Each of the four phases also links with a contest that asks consumers to answer a question – for instance, this month it’s to submit a safety tip for a cool summer party – for a chance to win a $1,000 prize pack.

Campaign creative was developed by Toronto-based Agency59, with media planning handled by M2 Universal. Leaderhead and big box ads promoting the webisodes and contest will appear on MSN.caFacebook and YouTube. The brand also has a strong following on social media from previous campaigns, says Brian Howlett, CCO, Agency59.

‘We thought it would be good to do something that wasn’t just a quick in-and-out story,’ says Howlett, about the reason for the web series. The characters take a poke at youth stereotypes (the goth rocker chick, the bickering couple and one bobble who says ‘Duuude’ a lot) using humour to get the message of moderation across to viewers and to encourage them to willingly take part in the PSA.

‘It works well for the medium for sure,’ Howlett tells MiC, about the comic relief. ‘But it also works well for the audience. The message itself isn’t always presented that way, but with Labatt, its core audience being 19- to 25-year-olds, certainly humour is a great tool to use,’ he says.

This article was updated on July 5, 2010