The Bull-White House has parlayed project work for Anheuser-Busch InBev into a shot at one of the brewer's biggest brands.
A-B InBev has hired the New York shop to lead advertising for Corona Extra in overseas markets, including Europe and Asia, the brewer has confirmed. Media spending behind the effort is estimated at more than $50 million.
The New York agency, which is led by former Lowe global chief creative officer Matthew Bull, competed against larger shops for the assignment. Other contenders included 180 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and JWT, the incumbent in Spain, according to sources.
Bull-White House's work will not run in the U.S., as Constellation Brands—not A-B InBev—owns and markets the brand domestically. A-B InBev bought former Corona parent company Grupo Mondelo last year, but only after Grupo sold its 50 percent stake in Corona's U.S. business. That sell-off paved the way for A-B InBev and Grupo to get federal regulatory approval for their deal.
Accordingly, Cramer-Krasselt continues as lead creative agency for Corona in the U.S., where the brand spent $90 million on media last year, up from nearly $62 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.
Before landing the international assignment, Bull-White House handled strategic projects for A-B InBev corporate, Bud Light and yes, Corona Extra. The agency, which opened in late 2011, also works for Unilever, creating ads for brands like Slim-Fast, Fruttare and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
Corona, however, gives Bull-White House a chance to show what it can do with a global brand on a big stage. And for that, Bull is grateful.
"This is an incredibly special opportunity. But when all is said and done, all that matters is that we produce work that people love and work that powers the brand," Bull said. He added that the "beauty of Corona is it doesn't force itself on you; it's a come and get me brand. Our work will reflect that."
The agency's first campaign is expected to break in the third quarter of the year.