This print ad appeared in Toronto's gay newspaper, Xtra!
The two-page ad first shows the brand in major cities around the world, then the second page shows the beer in a local setting, referencing gay thoroughfare Church Street and includes a picture of two men next to each other.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which did a story on the campaign, said it took weeks to get an interview with Labatt's public relations executive Paul Smith, who then said the campaign wasn't the brewery's idea. "It wasn't something Labatt initiated," he said. "It was really done by the ad agency. They convinced us there might be some learning from undertaking that particular ad. At the end of the day, we didn't see that the business results justified the extra expenditure of the specific advertising. We didn't really see any impact whatsoever."
"We went into this exercise trying to figure out a way of causing some controversy," the ad agency executive Randy Vanderstar said to the CBC. "Traditionally, beer companies would probably be seen as most homophobic as far as corporations go. It's quite simple: 19- to 24-year-olds make up the majority of beer sales. And the majority of those guys are straight as well. There's always a very real fear if you start to appeal to the other 10 percent, and do it in a very overtly gay way, that somehow is going to translate into lower sales in the heterosexual side of the equation."
Still, Vanderstar claimed that sales of the product in the gay neighborhoods were over three times as much after the campaign kicked in.