Harpell to Relaunch Harvard Lager

Lowell Brewing Provides Tech Shop With First Consumer Showcase
BOSTON–Continuing its new business streak while diversifying its client base, Harpell/Martins & Co. has won an alcoholic beverage account.
The Maynard, Mass.-based shop will create a brand identity for the Lowell Brewing Co.’s relaunch of Harvard Lager.
A regional radio and outdoor campaign, as well as an aggressive public relations program, will debut in Massachusetts next month, said David Elias, president of Lowell Brewing. The brand will soon be introduced in Connecticut, and ads will break in other markets as expansion continues, Elias said.
The work uses the tagline, “Real beer is back,” and is largely completed, but media plans are still being formalized, said Harpell/Martins co-creative director David Abend.
Abend called the product “a macrobrew . . . a yellow lager,” as opposed to a specialty microbrew.
Harvard Lager will compete with larger, better-known brands such as Rolling Rock as well as startups like The Three Stooges Beer, which will launch later this summer with a campaign from Holland Mark Martin Edmund in Boston, Abend said [Adweek, July 20].
First brewed in Lowell, Mass., in 1898 by the former Harvard Brewing Co., Harvard Lager was discontinued in 1964. Lowell Brewing revived the product in May and plans to ship 40,000 cases statewide in its first year. Lowell Brewing also manufactures the Mill City brand.
Harpell/Martins won the account after a review of undisclosed shops; its strategic and creative capabilities outweighed its lack of category experience, Elias said. The win provides the agency–best known for its high-tech prowess–with its first consumer creative showcase, Abend said.
While expanding into consumer territory, Harpell/Martins has continued to mine the technology and business-to-business markets, adding a pair of public relations clients. Stanley/Whistler in Birmingham, Mich., has retained the agency to promote its garage doors, garage door openers and related accessories for the commercial and residential markets. Internet access provider Delphi Forums in Cambridge, Mass., has hired the shop to help build awareness of its online services.
The new clients come on the heels of Harpell/Martins’ recent acquisition of the Reston, Va.-based Best Software account. Worth $5 million in annual billings, the win was the shop’s biggest yet and will likely precipitate the opening of a Southeast office.