An Adventure In Ale

Allagash Brewing’s Print, Outdoor Campaign Features Playful Animals, Regional Attitude
BOSTON–A branding campaign created by Woodbury & Morse Advertising in Portland, Maine, uses imagery of local wildlife to illustrate that drinking Allagash White Ale is “Always an adventure.”
That tagline–which graces print and outdoor ads now appearing in southern Maine–refers to the distinctive flavor of Allagash Brewing Co.’s Belgian-style wheat beer, said agency partner Tom Morse. The campaign marks the client’s first branding effort, he added.
A chance meeting some months back between Woodbury and Allagash owner Rob Tod led to the shop being tapped to handle creative and media duties for the microbrewery, which had not previously worked with an agency, Morse said.
Morse added that the chance to work on a beer account, regardless of the size of the budget, was something of a dream come true, because it provides a potent creative showcase for his fledgling agency.
Morse and Woodbury formed the agency three years ago. The shop, which now has seven staffers, has worked for clients such as L.L. Bean; the Maine Maritime Museum; Intermed, an association of independent physicians; and Epifanes, a maker of yacht paints and varnishes.
Prior to launching the agency, Morse had been creative director at McDonald Communications in Portland and also worked at CC and D Communications in Boston.
Woodbury served as an art director at Boston shops Houston Herstek Favat and Arnold Communications for clients such as Franklin Sports and the New England Aquarium.
One execution in the new campaign shows a moose splashing around in a river as it thinks, “I know I stashed the Allagash in here somewhere.” Another ad features a black bear informing consumers that the ale “Goes great with canoeists.” Both animals can be found in Maine’s Allagash wilderness.
Regional attitude, with an emphasis on taste, should help differentiate Allagash White from competing pale ales, such as Miller Brewing Co.’s Shipyard, Morse said.
Geoff Schaefer wrote the copy. Chris Russell was the art director. Agency partners Morse and Mark Woodbury served as the campaign’s creative directors.
Along with traditional print outlets and signs placed on the sides of city buses, alternative media have come into play. Canoes emblazoned with the Allagash name and carrying a fake bear or moose were recently attached to cars and driven through Portland’s restaurant district.
Although the Allagash ad budget is below six figures, the highly concentrated buy in Southern Maine–the client’s primary area of distribution–yielded a boost in local sales after just three weeks, Morse said. Figures were not available.
There is no plan at present to add broadcast ads to the mix or expand the campaign beyond Maine, though the beer is distributed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, Morse said.