25 September 2015
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The Unibroue and Les Chefs: a successful branded-content integration campaign

This week’s egtabite features two of the most important trends in media:  multi-screen branded content and relationship marketing. Unibroue, a famous Canadian local brewery and CBC/ Radio-Canada, the country’s public television broadcaster developed an innovate format to boost brand awareness and sales.


With the brewery industry thriving, Unibroue faces strong competition on the Quebec market from not only the crafted and mainstream breweries, but the wine sector as well. In order to increase awareness of the brand and sales, Unibroue partnered up with Radio Canada to develop a content creation and integration strategy. By integrating Unibroue in the number one summer show Les Chefs and using quality content, the strategy was to position the brand as “the Foodie’s beer”.

The concept

As beer ads are very present on radio and television during summertime in Canada, Radio Canada's Media Creativity and Production departments were asked to create a less intrusive concept, favouring brand integration, as it allows a seamless presence on air and online. The motivation behind the campaign was simple: Unibroue was aware of the need to lift its sales in participating stores while at the same time having to distinguish itself from the competition on a smaller budget than the mainstream breweries. The campaign had a total budget of $300,000 , including production.

Radio Canada used Unibroue’s Beer Sommelier (i.e. an expert, specialised in matching food and beer), building a full content ecosystem around him by integrating Unibroue in the #1 summer TV show in Quebec - Les Chefs (an equivalent of Master Chef).

Ten 30-second videos were created on the Les Chefs TV set, featuring the Beer Sommelier preparing special recipes pairing beer and food. These snippets were aired during the show Les Chefs to emphasise this special partnership. Building on the success of this format, the Beer Sommelier also wrote a foreword in a beer-themed cookbook distributed in over 200 stores and online. For incremental reach, targeted Facebook and YouTube campaigns reached cooking and beer fans.

An additional layer of brand integration included the use of Unibroue beers as a key ingredient for the special challenges of the Les Chefs contestants. Even on shows where beer was not used for cooking, a special ritual was introduced at the end of each episode: all contestants gather to share a celebratory beer.


The campaign was a bigger success than expected. After only 4 weeks, online videos of The Beer Sommelier reached 57,000 views, while the TV show remained at number one over the summer. The biggest surprise came from the success of the cookbook, of which 10,000 copies were sold in only 3 weeks, and additional copies had to be printed. Unibroue’s year over year sales in participating stores were up by 52%. Thanks to this success, Unibroue signed a partnership for another year with Radio Canada.

Why does this matter to egta members?

This case study proves once more that television remains a very rich platform in terms of diversity and engagement potential. Brand integration, multi-platform content creation and high-quality video production enhance an advertiser’s brand like no other solution. Unibroue was no exception to that, and thanks to the sales house’s commitment to the project, the campaign exceeded all their expectations with an original concept. Again, storytelling proves valuable when trying to create a strong brand affinity, especially with niche brands such as Unibroue. By developing creative, tailor made concepts hand-in-hand with the advertiser, broadcasters ensure their clients’ loyalty on the long term and trust in television as an efficient advertising medium.


Target: TV
» For a video explaining the campaign please click here
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» CBC/Radio Canada (please click here)

» Unibroue website (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

Click the links below for a compilation of egtabites per year/medium:

» TV egtabites 2015
» TV egtabites 2014
» TV egtabites 2013

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