Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

A red fridge on the street? Learn how a beer company successfully pulled off this marketing campaign! [Friday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

February 8, 2024

In marketing, one of the ways to connect with your audience is to affirm their identity and sense of belonging. You can achieve this by aligning your brand’s message with your target market’s national identity. 

Did you know that in June 2013, a beer brand in Canada pulled off an interesting guerrilla marketing campaign by integrating nationalism into its strategy? 

This company tapped into Canadian patriotism through…

The Beer Fridge Campaign!

Photo from ABC News

The Beer Fridge is a marketing tactic beer company Molson Canadian launched in different areas in Europe. Here, the campaign team strategically placed attention-grabbing red fridges in bustling city centers, tourist spots, and high-traffic locations. 

The interesting part? 

These fridges contained Molson Canadian beer cans that passersby could get for FREE! 

Wait a minute. 

You think getting those free beers is that simple? Not really…

The fridges weren’t the typical coolers that are easy to open; they had special features that could only be unlocked using a Canadian passport, which added an element of surprise and exclusivity to the experience. 

Those fortunate enough to possess a Canadian passport—either Canadians who had been residing in Europe for some time or Canadians who were touring Europe at the time of the campaign—had the privilege of accessing the drinks inside.

Photo from ABC News

Rethink, an ad agency based in Canada, spearheaded The Beer Fridge campaign with Molson Canadian. The beverage company is well-known in Canada for its iconic red and white branding, and so Rethink had to retain that element in the guerrilla marketing campaign. 

Following the passport-requiring fridge activations, Molson Canadian and Rethink continued their marketing initiatives with various creative executions tailored to different locations and events. 

Below is an example… 

Sing & Sip: Molson Canadian’s Olympic Beer Fridge

One subsequent initiative was the Olympic Beer Fridge, which was conducted during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Here, people had to sing the Canadian national anthem to unlock the fridge and get a free beer inside. 

This strategy enabled Canadians to engage with the beer brand in a fun and patriotic way during the global event. 

Photo from Media In Canada

Clearly, Molson Canadian excels at merging nationalism with brand engagement. The Beer Fridge campaign’s clever use of a Canadian passport to unlock the fridge and the sing-to-unlock feature at the Sochi Winter Olympics showcased the brand’s talent for creating memorable customer experiences tied to Canadian heritage. 

This marketing also reinforced Molson Canadian’s deep connection to the Canadian spirit.

Was Molson Canadian’s Beer Fridge campaign effective? 

The Beer Fridge campaign had achieved remarkable results: 

  • In June 2013, the campaign led to a total of 7.6 million bottles of Molson Canadian beers sold in Canada. 
  • Molson Canadian’s market share in the premium beer segment added an estimated value of about USD 6 million to the company following the campaign. Interestingly, Molson Canadian did not increase its marketing budget prior to the campaign to reach such an achievement.
  • On February 19, 2015, the campaign received the Grand Prix and Gold award in the Packaged Goods category at the CASSIES.
  • The campaign gained USD 160 million in PR value globally through press coverage, with an estimated USD 50 million of the coverage coming from Canada.

Kudos, Molson Canadian and Rethink! These results show that innovative marketing strategies help make a substantial impact on a brand’s success.


What can we learn from Molson Canadian’s guerrilla marketing campaign? 

First, creating an emotional connection with the target audience is essential. The campaign tapped into Canadians’ sense of national identity. Through the Beer Fridge, Molson Canadian established a sense of belonging among its main customers and became a token of Canadian identity.

Second, innovation piques interest and engages consumers. Creating unconventional ways to unlock the fridge, such as using a Canadian passport and singing Canada’s national anthem, created unique and memorable experiences for audiences. Through this, Molson Canadian made the marketing tactic fun instead of directly asking people to buy the beer products. 


Just like how Molson Canadian combined technological innovation with Canadian nationalism, you can also look for ways to tap into your audience’s identity. This does not have to involve costly gadgets and inventions as long as you let yourself be creative. 

Know your audience and find an opportunity where you can affirm their identity and sense of belonging. This will make your brand stand out and create a connection with your target market on a personal level. 

Oh, and one last thing: Make your marketing campaigns fun. A meaningful marketing campaign should also be engaging and interesting enough for people to enjoy and remember.

We hope you’re entertained and learned something from today’s guerrilla marketing topic!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you find this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Special Projects
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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