BUSINESS

Molson's ‘I Am Canadian' Slogan Makes Comeback In Time For Canada Day

06/25/2013 01:31 EDT | Updated 06/25/2013 02:31 EDT

Molson is bringing back its “I Am Canadian” slogan — at least on t-shirts, beer mugs and hoodies.

The beer brand opened an online store this week featuring products with the “I Am Canadian” slogan from TV commercials that became a cultural hit more than a decade ago.

Accompanying it is Molson’s latest patriotic ad, “the beer fridge,” featuring a custom-made fridge that can only be opened by a Canadian passport. The 90-second spot shows people in Belgium, Britain and France standing around the fridge, asking passersby if they’re Canadian.

The ad ends with applause as Canadian tourists slide their passports into the fridge’s reader to access the presumably free beer inside. And the “I Am Canadian” slogan makes a comeback — as the hashtag #IAmCanadian.

Molson officially discontinued the “I Am Canadian” ad campaign in 2004, but hasn’t stopped using Canadian pride as a central theme in its advertising.

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Earlier this year, the brand released “The Canadians,” a TV spot showing people around the world raving about how cool Canadians are.

That spot, like many of Molson’s ads, was criticized by some for cynically exploiting national pride to sell beer.

For all that, the approach seems to work. Dave Bigoni, vice-president of marketing at Molson, told the Globe and Mail the “I Am Canadian” campaign “never really left the public consciousness. It is part of our cultural identity, and part of this brand’s identity.”

Of the nine items listed in the Molson store’s “what’s hot” section, all but one featured the “I Am Canadian” slogan as of Tuesday.

The beer fridge campaign will include events as well as TV ads. Molson plans to bring the fridges to Canada Day events in Ottawa and London, England, the Globe reports, and is mulling bringing them to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year.