Jacobson Rost Does Its Homework for Leinie’s

Shop Lands Creative by Learning More About ‘Northwoods’ Beer
CHICAGO – Jacobson Rost took to the road in its quest to secure creative ad responsibilities for the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
The agency traveled to Minneapolis, Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago to visit drinkers and distributors of Leinenkugel’s, brewed by the Leinenkugel family in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and owned by Miller Brewing in Milwaukee.
“They went to extraordinary measures to understand our brand and our beer drinkers,” said Dick Leinenkugel, vice president of sales and marketing at the brewer.
Leinenkugel’s chose the Sheboygan, Wis., agency after a review that came down to William Eisner & Associates in Hales Corners, Wis.; Kohnke Hanneken in Milwaukee; and Bender, Browning, Dolby & Sanderson, Chicago. Media buying remains at Starcom Media Services in Chicago.
“We wanted to keep [the creative account] with someone from our neck of the woods,” Leinenkugel said. The account was previously at Young & Rubicam, Chicago, but was forced into review when the Miller/Y&R relationship fractured in January.
Leinenkugel’s was happy with Y&R’s work, and plans to stick with the tagline, “The legend of the Northwoods.” Miller exerted no pressure to lump the brand into a larger roster shop’s portfolio. “They leave us alone as long as our business is successful,” Leinenkugel said.
Leinenkugel’s marketing spending, in the low seven figures, was increased 20 percent this year, with a similar boost expected in 2000, Leinenkugel said.
“I have no doubt Jacobson Rost can grow with Leinenkugel’s,” he said.
Leinenkugel said the agency presented TV ideas, but there are no plans yet to move from the traditional mix of radio, outdoor and print. The brewer also expects to stick to its core markets of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, where 80 percent of ad dollars are spent, he said.
– Trevor Jensen