As stewards of the 162-year-old J.P. Wiser’s brand, we raise a glass to the time and care that goes into making great whisky and cultivating great friendships.
In 2018, the J.P. Wiser’s family (excluding Special Blend) outpaced the Canadian whisky category and secured a position among Canada’s top three value-gaining spirits brands. Not bad for a brand that was around when Alexander Graham Bell was inventing the telephone.
Over the past two years, we’ve taken a systematic approach to rejuvenating the J.P. Wiser’s brand and making it more relevant to new consumers. Hold It High, a new masterbrand platform launched in 2017, focused on holding high the things that matter. It included a packaging refresh to communicate the time and care that go into every bottle of J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whisky, which earned us a 2019 PAC Canadian Leadership Award in the food and beverage rebrand category.
Hold It High celebrates friendships, which like great whisky, get better with time.
To inspire Canadians to put the same time and care into their friendships as we put into our whisky, we launched a national campaign in 2018 that gave friends the opportunity to toast each other in a big way.
“Our aim was to allow friends to show appreciation for one another by encouraging them to call out the qualities that make their friendships unique,” said Vanessa Clarke, Brand Manager, Canadian Whisky. They responded in droves – the campaign collected over 1,000 messages through the holdithigh.ca website, with people contributing everything from tongue-in-cheek shout-outs to heartfelt messages. Of these, 165 were selected for use in radio spots and on custom billboards and transit shelters.
Innovation has been equally instrumental to the brand’s renaissance. The introduction of J.P. Wiser’s Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail was a resounding success, outpacing year-one projections and bringing new consumers to the whisky category. We’re following it up with the launch of J.P. Wiser’s Manhattan Whisky Cocktail in fall 2019.
Our aim was to allow friends to show appreciation for one another by encouraging them to call out the qualities that make their friendships unique.
The launch of our Alumni Whisky Series enabled us to showcase our exceptional whisky-making skills. In partnership with the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA), we released two separate series of three super-premium, limited edition whiskies, each of which was uniquely crafted to match the playing style of the featured alumni – for example, Wendel Clark’s whisky is a bold and tenacious 100% rye whisky. Part of the proceeds are invested back into the retired player community. Given the popularity of the first two series, a third series with three different NHL alumni is planned for the fall of 2019.
With that, we toast our J.P. Wiser’s brand builders, who put time, care and commitment into stewarding our flagship brand so that it remains compellingly relevant to each new generation of consumers.