For wine and spirits distributor Maxxium Canada, going back to school turned out to be a great learning experience in the company’s ongoing quest to increase the market profile of its Sourz liquor, marketed as a “zingy liquor brand known for its playful personality and versatility.”
With the Sourz Apple brand currently retailing in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia— and Sourz Raspberry also available in Alberta and B.C.—brand-owner Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. has recently picked Canada as the launching pad for the worldwide release of the Sourz Berry Fusion brand later this year, prompting Maxxium Canada to organize a creative design competition inviting fashion, advertising and design student’s at Toronto’s George Brown and Humber community colleges to submit ideas for new packaging, point-of-sale displays, drink recipes and other promotional vehicles to be used in the brand’s upcoming marketing blitz.
Called the Sourz Design School Challenge, the contest narrowed the original field of entries down to a shortlist of eight finalist teams, with the top three entries awarded cash prizes in a special awards ceremony at a popular downtown Toronto night-club Tryst, along with a promise to incorporate those ideas in the upcoming promotional campaigns.
“The Sourz Design School Challenge was a way for us to reach out to an extremely creative group of people and they did not disappoint,” explains Maxxium Canada’s brand manager Franco Timpano.
“We were blown away by the sheer creativity and thoughtfulness we saw in the final presentations.”
At the end of the competition, climaxing in a full day of presentations to a judging panel comprised of various media and marketing executives, teams from the Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning swept the top three finishes, with Humber students Don Connell and Naeem Walji taking the top prize for their unique So Urg branding concept.
The second-place award went to Karina Kornacka, Paul De La Merced and Neil Domingues for a concept entitled Pucker Up (see picture), while the third place went to the team of Joel Buckborough, Braden Laverty and Adam Strickland for their Sweet & Sour Come Together concept.
“We believe co-creativity with our consumers in the design and fashion industry is strongly linked to our brand,” says Dorene Wharton, marketing director at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, which also owns such bestselling spirit brands as Jim Beam bourbon, Sauza tequila, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, and a long list of other popular, higher-end alcoholic beverages.