Ads We Like: Wild Rainiers are back roaming the Northwest in retro campaign

If you were watching TV on the west coast in the 70s and 80s, you saw Rainier Beer ads featuring larger-than-life ’wild’ Rainiers – essentially beer bottles and cans on legs – roaming the Pacific Northwest wilderness: their natural habitat, according to advertising legend.

Today, creative agency DNA has brought back the mystical beings with a call to action to ‘Rewild the Rainiers.’

Now those wild Rainiers have been tamed, and are roaming among the people, gyms, streets and offices of urban dwellers. The new campaign encourages beer drinkers to ‘rewild’ their Rainiers back to their natural habitat – out in the forests, rivers and mountains of the Great Pacific Northwest.

“The domestication of The Rainiers is a metaphor for what is happening in the Northwest and Seattle in particular,” explained Christine Wise, chief strategy officer at DNA. “Our team at DNA saw an opportunity to reintroduce this legendary brand and to use its brand values as an antidote to the stress of modern-day life, as a way to urge people to get out and take advantage of this beautiful place we live in.”

After landing the assignment earlier this year, DNA developed the campaign to refresh the Rainier brand and introduce its new light beer, Rainier Summit – a ‘lighter member of the species,’ according to one of the spots.

To launch Rainier Summit, DNA played off the popularity of live webcams of animal nests with a five-day livestream of a larger-than-life nest filled with mysterious Rainier eggs. The nest was tended to by a host of quirky characters, including an eagle, Sasquatch, ‘beer-barians’ and even the famous Pike Place Market fish throwers. The livestream culminated with the eggs hatching, revealing giant cans of Rainier Summit which were celebrated and then excitedly guzzled by all the visiting creatures.

“Rainier’s roots are firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest. It’s our home, and always will be. This new work is designed to give everyone a much-needed chuckle, bring the wild Rainiers back from near extinction to incite the outdoor enthusiast in all of us,” said Rainier brand manager Mike Scott.

“With the significant urban development and many thousands of new people moving to our region in recent years, combined with the launch of our new light beer Rainier Summit, we recognized an ideal moment to introduce a new generation of Pacific Northwest residents to the fun, light-hearted, wild side of Rainier.”

The campaign extends to digital video and cinema ads featuring unsuspecting Rainier cans being captured in offices, gyms and on the streets before being ‘rewilded’ back to the Northwest wilderness. It also includes point-of-sale posters and social content.

The new campaign is a throwback of sorts to Rainier’s quirky advertising of the 70’s and 80’s that showed herds of wild Rainier’s in the cascade mountains and other settings. One famous ad featured Mickey Rooney as an outdoor guide, in the style of the nature television shows of the time, discovering a Rainier in the forest.

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