Sapporo Channels the Essence of 'Biru'

GUELPH, ON, June 2 /CNW/ - A legendary 'Biru' is poised to take the country by storm.

Biru - a Japanese term for beer - is the centre of a new brand campaign for Sapporo beer that focuses on the discipline and attention to detail that has been a cornerstone of the brand's brewing heritage since 1876.

With a new, sleek 500 ml can design and a rich, highly stylized advertising campaign, the brand hopes its existing consumer base, along with all Canadians who enjoy quality premium beer, will delve into the essence of Sapporo and discover the "Legendary Biru" this summer.

"Sapporo offers a premium taste experience that meets the demands of Canada's most sophisticated palates," says Kenny Sadai, president and CEO of Sleeman Breweries. "We know our consumers not only demand a high quality product, but also a brand that conveys attributes that appeal to their individuality. We felt tapping into the brand's Japanese heritage and bringing to life the essence of 'Biru' would further illustrate those qualities."

The new Sapporo 500 ml can features Japanese script meaning 'premium' and the historic Sapporo "north" star embossed on the front of the can. The result is a package that is more popular among beer drinkers and a redesign that stays true to Sapporo's distinctive and premium image.

The new can will be introduced nationwide June 2, 2010, in tandem with the first full-scale Canadian advertising campaign in the brand's history. The over-arching concept of the campaign was developed by award-winning, Toronto-based advertising firm Dentsu Canada.

"I think it's safe to say this campaign is unlike anything people have seen in terms of beer ads," says Jeff McCrory, Strategic Catalyst at Dentsu. "By taking people through a unique and entertaining tour of a mythical Sapporo Brewery, we wanted to translate intrigue for Japan into intrigue for Sapporo the beer and we're confident we have done this in a truly creative and powerful way."

The Sapporo brand dates back to 1876, formerly called the Kaitakushi Brewery. At the time, it was the first Bavarian-style brewing company in Japan, and began to build its reputation by producing the world-class beer that consumers enjoy today.

In Canada, Sapporo has been on shelves for several years, and has enjoyed a steadily increasing profile within the Canadian marketplace. In 2006, Sapporo acquired Sleeman Breweries Limited, and now brews the majority of Sapporo distributed throughout North America in the Guelph-based brewery, employing the same quality-focused methods that have earned the brand its premium stamp.

"Sapporo has developed a growing following among Canadian beer drinkers," said Sadai. "Our premium liquid, brewed here on Canadian soil in a new 500 ml can, is growing its presence among a demographic of Canadians who demand quality food and beverage options that can be paired, enjoyed and shared among friends, and we're confident this new campaign will help even more people discover it."

About Sleeman Breweries Limited

Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is the leading brewer and distributor of premium beer in Canada and the third largest brewing company nation-wide. The company has supplemented its core Sleeman brands, which are available in every province, with a family of exceptional regional brands. These include Okanagan Spring and Shaftebury in British Columbia and Alberta, Upper Canada in Ontario, and Unibroue and Seigneuriale in Quebec. Sleeman entered the rapidly growing value price category in 1999 by acquiring the Stroh portfolio brands in Canada. In 2006, Sleeman Breweries Limited was acquired by Sapporo Holdings Limited of Japan. The company markets and/or distributes world class imported products such as Guinness, Sol, Dos Equis and Tecate.

About Sapporo Holdings Limited

Sapporo Holdings Limited is a Japanese holding company with an enterprise value of C$4.3 billion that is active in six business segments and includes Sapporo International as its overseas business segment and Sapporo Fine Foods as its domestic food business. Its Alcohol segment is engaged in the manufacture and sale of beer, sparkling liquor, wine, brandy and others. The Company manufactures alcohol products including Sapporo Draft Beer, Yebisu Beer and Draft One. The company distributes Yellow Tail and Beringer in Japan. The Beverage segment manufactures and sells beverages, such as tea, mineral water, coffee, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, health drinks, sports drinks and others. It distributes Ocean Spray Cranberry in Japan. Its Restaurant segment is involved in the operation of beer parlors and restaurants under the store name Ginza Lion. The Real Estate segment is engaged in the operation and management of complex facilities that contains offices, housing, restaurants, and commercial and cultural facilities under the name Yebisu Garden Place, in addition to commercial and amusement complex facilities.

SOURCE SAPPORO

For further information: For further information: or to request an interview, please contact Matt Duffin, APEX Public Relations, (416) 924-4442, or by e-mail at mduffin@apexpr.com

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