Big Chair Breaks TV for Samuel Adams

BOSTON Samuel Adams: brewer, patriot, pitchman.

The namesake of Boston Beer’s flagship lager brand appears for the first time on screen in new commercials that broke last week from New York agency Big Chair. The ads introduce the tagline “Always a good decision” and take place in a bar, opening with short, humorous vignettes featuring yuppie types out on the town. An actor dressed as Sam Adams (who really did brew his own beer in Colonial times) appears at the close of each execution.

“The intent was to focus on product quality,” a client representative said.

The new work tones down the recent beer-party themes employed by the Boston-based client, which broke its last major TV work through Big Chair at the close of 2001. Tagged “Mighty tasty,” those ads were aimed mainly at twentysomethings and often featured roommate rants in the vein of MTV’s The Real World program.

The client also took some heat, but generated plenty of publicity, last August, when a couple was arrested for public lewdness in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral while participating in WNEW-FM’s “Sex for Sam” contest, which urged listeners to get it on in public places. Opie and Anthony, the morning DJs promoting the bit, were dismissed.

The client spent $25 million on ads last year, per CMR.