CHICAGO-Anheuser-Bush is backing a four-state rollout of its Devon’s Original Shandy with TV, print and radio advertising from Waylon Ad in St. Louis.
The beverage, a citrus-flavored beer, is thought to be the first bottled shandy in the U.S. Shandy is primarily known as British libation, a half-and-half mix of beer and a lemon-flavored drink often employed as a sweetened introduction to beer for young people.
Waylon’s ads play off the drink’s origins with the tagline, “Beer with a British twist.” The TV spot features a British pop music track and British voiceover explaining the product. It focuses on refreshment, with somewhat psychedelic imagery focusing on the beer and pieces of lemon and lime.
“Basically, it’s an educational effort to show what a shandy’s all about,” said Cindy Trusler, a new product manager at the St. Louis brewer. “Most of the people in the U.S. aren’t familiar with shandy.”
Devon’s is being introduced in Virginia, the Carolinas, Maryland and the Washington D.C. area the week of June 14, with ads kicking in a week later.
A-B began testing the brand on-premise in Charleston, S.C., and Raleigh and Myrtle Beach, N.C., earlier this year.
Spending was not disclosed by the brewer, but was thought by sources to be a somewhat healthy outlay for a new product. A-B has not used TV for recent product introductions, but it was deemed the right medium for Devon’s because of people’s unfamiliarity with shandy.
Waylon Ad is also agency for A-B’s Tequiza, which was rolled out nationally this year after a year of regional test marketing. Tequiza is backed by print, radio and outdoor ads under the tagline, “Give it a shot.”
Like Tequiza, Devon’s is intended to appeal to drinkers who may be turned off by straight beer’s bitterness. ƒ
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