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A&W Root Brewery

Work / A&W / 2017 / Experiential/ACTS

For years, A&W has positioned themselves around using better ingredients. And while more informed Millennials demand transparency and better quality products, soft drinks continue to use cheaper, more artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. So continuing to answer consumer demands for something better, A&W reinvented their signature root beer, using real cane sugar and all-natural flavours.

To get the message out, we took a page from the craft beer industry — loved by Millennials for their quality ingredients and enjoyable atmosphere — and built a first of its kind: the Root Brewery.

For the Canada Day weekend, beginning on July 1, 2017, we collaborated with Evoke, a premiere restaurant design company, and the interior innovators at MakerHaus to set up an authentic brewery experience in Winnipeg, Manitoba, A&W’s original home in Canada. A&W Root Beer was flowing from the taps for two solid days, in a space designed for conversation and maximum root beer enjoyment. Celebrity chefs were invited, along with brewmasters and foodies to try to recreate the iconic taste using the same simple ingredients, showing people exactly what goes into our Root Beer and proving that we put quality first.

We had online videos of the Root Brewery delivered through shared, sponsored and owned media, while our influencer strategy got the message out to smaller, niche audiences we knew would share the love organically.

Results:

In the two days our Root Brewery was open, over 2000 mugs of root beer were served. This led into a national promotion, where net sales went up 17%, and guest counts increased 43%. 

News of the promotion spread nationally across various channels including the National Post, the Daily Hive and other shared media. All while soda sales of other companies continued to decline globally for the 12th year in a row. Which only goes to show that when you put quality first, it becomes second to none.