The objective was to create a strong awareness of Carling Red Cap as a leader in the ale field and to build sales in the 21 to 35 age bracket while strengthening brand loyalty in the over-35 segment. What happened was a phenomenon. It began shortly after Terry O'Malley met with the client:
Jack Bush and I went back to my office. As I sat behind my desk, Jack said, “Well Chief, what do you want to do?”
I’m not sure where the thought came from because I hadn’t been tucking away campaign ideas, but I said, “The beer is shrinking in popularity. There are fewer and fewer drinkers, so I think we should make them the heroes. I’m thinking that we make it so others want to join them. And I see an anthem, a salute and some kind of association.”
Jack loved it… He said, “So what’s the theme?”
I had written it on a piece of paper on my desk, and I held it up so Jack could see the words: Carling Red Cap Forever. We were off.
- Terry O’Malley
It was a full run campaign - television, radio, and print. Carling Red Cap was everywhere.
The official anthem for the Carling Red Cap Forever Association:
Cans or draft or bottles,
It’s our favourite brew.
We’ll drink Carling Red Cap.
We are drinkers true.
Carling Red Cap Forever.
To hear the song, click the video clip to the right.
The Carling Red Cap Forever television ads began on 1 July 1967 and the results were staggering:
- Surveys had Red Cap scoring four times higher than the next highest brand… the best figure Carling ever had.
- For a time, Red Cap held as much as 40% of the Ontario market.
- The anthem caught on far and wide. It was sung in night clubs, sporting events and even by children playing at recess. It was also a standard for marching bands at high schools and universities.
Terry O'Malley noted, "I'd done fine up until then. But if you were a singer, this was like having a major hit." Carling Red Cap had gone viral before viral was a thing.
To see more Red Cap and other Vickers & Benson television commercials, visit the Brock University Archives' YouTube page.