Activating brain insights to grow market share

Industry: Mass Beer | Market: Canada

Background Challenge

With big beer declining 3% y-o-y in Canada, growth must happen at the expense of competition. But Product parity in mass market beer means differentiation between manufacturers is the job of branding, with sports sponsorship a key tool in the beer branding toolkit due to its target audience reach and association with things of value to the consumer. However, sports are also expensive and saturated properties, so breaking through, much less building those associations, can be financially risky. In such an environment, Innovation is key. But this carries its own set of risks. So how do we deliver “Safe innovation”? This was the challenge brought to us by MEC CANADA, media agency to Coors Light.


MEC shared multiple creative concepts, which included prospective media partners, execution, tone and approach.
Brainsights used these details to mine its vast database of brain data linked to marketing stimuli for the target consumer – 19-28 year old males – investigating key variables to determine what best persuades the target:


  • Contextual Environment – Is sports actually the best performing, and to what degree?
  • Sports content type – What sport, and What kind of sports content (story, nostalgia, game action, highlights, etc) were most engaging?
  • Themes – what topics/concepts resonated at the non-conscious level with the target?
  • Humour type – The brand is humorous, but what type of humour would land best – Situational comedy? Ridiculous humour? Dead-pan?

Findings and Results

Brainsights identified the best concepts and reduced the risk of innovation by quantifying how the concept’s component parts each drove the attention, emotional connection and encoding to memory of the target audience. We advised MEC on the associated gaps between our data and their ideas – the blindspots and risk factors – which together we then shared with Coors Light, advising on the most effective way forward. Back by Brainsights’ data – and fully cognizant of the blindspots involved – Coors Light green lit an innovative partnership with TSN, a large sports broadcaster, around fantasy football, a campaign that would help Coors light gain significant market share in q4 2014.