Finally, there’s been some positive non-sports news out of Sochi. After a week of less than ideal PR —  disturbing images of pink eye (read our earlier blog) and stories of Sochi being a bit less-than-ready for visitors – I was ready for some light-hearted, non-sports coverage. Molson Canadian announced earlier this week via twitter that they’d placed free beer coolers in Canada’s Olympic House. The coolers, however, won’t open unless a Canadian passport is inserted.

Quirky yet effective: Molson Canadian branding goes to Sochi

Beer advertisers are known for their big budget, over-the-top PR and ad campaigns, and that’s no surprise really, since study after study has shown that advertising increases the demand for beer. So while this campaign is far from groundbreaking (and it’s worth noting that this is not the first time the fridge has been deployed – including a trek across Indonesia by two men who wanted a friend to have beer to drink while watching the Olympics), there are  a few things I think make this a quirky yet effective campaign for the Olympics.

  1. The appeal to national pride is a great tie-in with the Olympics and its emphasis on country-specific success. If you are Canadian, you are rewarded with a beer.
  2. It’s also further reinforcement of the Molson Canadian branding:  the beer with “true Canadian” taste.
  3. Free beer. It’s hard to find fault with that.


The resultant media coverage? Well worth the cost of the beers given out to the Canadians in Sochi.

Watch the beer cooler’s voyage through Indonesia to ensure that one Canadian hockey fan has refreshments while watching the Olympics.