Sunday, February 28, 2010

James Ready Beer - Share Our Billboard Campaign

What was the most awarded billboard globally? James Ready Beer. Hmmmmmm....

Clue: Created by Leo Burnett Toronto.

Yes, James Ready? The campaign has been winning awards for its innovative outdoor billboard campaign, "SHARE OUR BILLBOARD" for the past year.

So, for those of you not familiar, James Ready is a Ontario micro-brewery and not a person. The brand of beer has been brewed since 1875 by the James Ready Brewing Company of Niagara Falls.
I am crazy with pride seeing this was created by one of my grads Steve Persico and his partner Art Director Anthony Chelvanathan.

This was a truly unique campaign for a small brewery in Ontario that needed to tll their story but had a limited budget. The campaign brought home awards from around the world including a Cannes Gold Lion plus the Andy Awards in New York, where it won two golds. add to that CLIO and One Show honors.

The James Ready Canadian advertising campaign, "SHARE OUR BILLBOARD". made a splash by plastering 106 billboards across southern Ontario, asking people to keep the price of James Ready beer at $1 per bottle by sharing in the cost of the billboard campaign, then the campaign took hold and the awards came rolling in.

The campaign began with a series of classified ads that appeared in local newspapers with a similar message as to the outdoor advertising campaign. People were asked to, “Help us keep James Ready a buck. Share our billboard.” Billboard messages steered people to a website where they could post their best offer (no actual cost was accepted) and upload messages and photos to be included in the billboard. The result – on a first-come-first-serve basis, people’s submissions were posted on individual local billboards with a tag line from James Ready Beer thanking them for keeping the price of the beer at $1! The people showcased in the "SHARE OUR BILLBOARD" campaign became local celebrities in their communities, creating further buzz for James Ready beer and prompting many conversations at water coolers and bars in the area!

“It’s always great for our industry in Canada to be recognized on the global stage,” said Leo Burnett’s Canadian president and CEO David Moore. “I’m particularly proud of the simplicity of the idea—no high tech, no special effects, just pure creativity in one of the world’s oldest mediums".

The complete creative team, includes writers Sean Barlow and Steve Persico, and art directors Anthony Chelvanathan, and Paul Giannetta. Judy John and Israel Diaz (now with David and Goliath Toronto) oversaw the work as creative directors.

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