the CC Challenge
by Chris Edwards
Dan Tullio (left) and Tish Harcus (right) of Hiram Walker
& Sons present a $10,000 U.S. cheque to Team Cleveland;
below: rolling out the barrel & the
CC Label Challenge.
was the longest continuous promotional campaign in the history
of the liquor industry, and it had its roots here. In 1967,
Hiram Walker & Sons of Walkerville, Ontario launched a
unique advertising campaign. Cases of Canadian Club were planted
in exotic locales like Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Angel
Falls in Venezuela, Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington State,
and the Swiss Alps. Clever magazine ads tempted Canadian Club
drinkers to find the hidden cases of whisky; weekly clues
were provided in sports sections of daily newspapers.
who managed to find the hidden cases were rewarded with an
all expenses-paid trip around the world. And Hiram Walker
& Sons flew in the media to promote any case that was
found. The hide-a-case campaign resulted in much positive
publicity for Canadian Club whisky.
cases were hidden so that they could eventually be found,
near the reputed site of the Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona,
deep in Death Valley, or somewhere in Washington, D.C. The
box in Arizona was found in about a week, but a case hidden
atop a skyscraper in New York eluded searchers for 13 weeks.
some of the whisky was never found. A case planted in the
Arctic remains lost. The Mt. Kilimanjaro case was not discovered
until the mid-70s, when a Danish journalist stumbled over
it while on an expedition. A young man on his honeymoon found
the case buried near Angel Falls.
the campaign’s enormous success, the “Hide-A-Case”
campaign was retired in 1981. In all, 22 cases were hidden
September of this year, Canadian Club updated the hidden case
advertising campaign, renamed the “CC Find-A-Case Challenge.”
For six straight weeks, clues were offered at participating
bars and local retail outlets bars in 21 U.S. markets and
through the CC web site www.canadianclubwhisky.com (designed
and maintained by Walkerville Publishing, producers of The
who eventually found the cases, stashed in U-Haul Storage
units, were entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to come
to Walkerville to win $10,000 U.S.
November 7-9, fourteen lucky sweepstakes winners and friends
received an all-expenses paid trip to Walkerville, the birthplace
of Canadian Club whisky, to vie for the $10,000 U.S. prize.
to have a whole lot of fun in the process!
joined in the CC Find-A-Case Challenge – earning points
in seven events that tested them physically, and mentally
as well. The seven events were developed and coordinated by
Hiram Walker & Sons employees, who volunteered their time
and talent to help make the event successful.
the first evening, contestants played the CC Poker Run. Escorted
by friendly Hiram Walker & Sons volunteers to four downtown
Windsor drinking establishments, each team received one playing
card, with a final card being handed out at the hospitality
suite of the Hilton Hotel. The team with the best poker hand
by the end of the evening gained valuable points on the road
to 10 grand.
November 8th was action-packed.
After a tour of the Canadian Club facility, delegates engaged
in the “Roll the Barrel” event, followed by the
“CC Hockey Challenge,” and the “Chuck-a-Bung”
the “Organaleptic” test required participants
to smell, taste and correctly identify which dark blue glass
contained CC 6 year-old, CC 8 year-old, and CC 12 year-old
whisky. Saturday’s challenge events wrapped up with
the “CC Label” contest – participants had
to properly label three different brands of CC bottles.
Sunday, the road to ten thousand dollars concluded with the
CC Trivia Challenge. Participants were required to answer
skill-testing questions related to everything they learned
during the CC Find-A-Case Challenge weekend.
the points were tabulated, Team Cleveland, Ohio was declared
the winner in a tightly contested match, and received a cheque
for $10,000 US!
nobody felt like a loser. A strong sense of comraderie developed
among the participants; they went home with a package of great
consolation prizes, and will certainly become ambassadors
for the Canadian Club brand.
to Dan Tullio, Brand Director, “We wanted to bring back
a campaign that did wonders for CC. The whole experience has
been very positive. And the brand has received an increase
in sales volume in the markets where the Find-A-Case Challenge
was held. Participants who came to Walkerville have a much
better appreciation of the brand, and the craftsmanship and
quality that goes into every bottle of CC.”
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