Kokanee Ranger’s life on the line

Talk about CGC. The beer brand is actually inviting consumers to vote on whether its spokes-icon should survive or be retired.

Mulling whether to keep its spokes-icon around or try something new, the Creston, BC-based Kokanee beer brand decided to put the quandary to a vote, asking consumers to weigh in on the fate of the Kokanee Ranger.

In its first week, the ‘Ranger Live or Die’ interactive exercise attracted more than 30,000 votes. So far, the brew dude’s future is looking good, with more than 25,000 participants saying they’d like to see him stick around, while just over 6,000 want him to take a permanent hike.

To support the initiative, Kokanee launched an integrated marketing campaign across Western Canada, which includes TV, OOH, Interactive, radio and PR. The amusing 30-second TV spot features the Ranger enjoying some down-time from tracking the Sasquatch. Alongside Arnold, his trusty sidekick, and the Glacier Girls, the mustachioed beer spokes-character opens the door to his Ranger Station to receive a disturbing letter from Kokanee parent Columbia Brewery informing him that his services may no longer be required. The creative was done by Grip, with media buys by M2 Universal and overall planning strategy by Labatt Media.

The live-or-die theme is continued on Facebook, where at last count the campaign had attracted about 700 fans in the let-him-live camp and roughly 230 who want the Ranger to disappear.

‘The Kokanee Ranger Live or Die campaign. . . engages our beer consumers by inviting them to play a pivotal role in deciding the fate of the Ranger,’ explains Kokanee director of marketing Jamie Humphries.

Adds Grip creative partner David Chiavegato: ‘The Ranger/Sasquatch saga continues to help win the taste buds of beer drinkers all across Western Canada. In its sixth year, the campaign is successful because it remains fresh, combining humour with reality in a way that consumers can relate to, understand and want to become a part of.’

‘Ranger Live or Die’ will continue through this spring and summer online and on social media channels as well as in local media and at retail stores and selected bars and clubs, where Ranger merchandise will be for sale. Fans on both sides of the campaign will be encouraged to show their allegiance by purchasing ‘Save the Ranger’ or ‘Kill Off the Ranger’ campaign kits (including T-shirts, buttons and yard signs) and joining the respective Facebook factions.