The brewer of Samuel Adams is preparing to launch what may be the most expensive advertising blitz in the company's history, sources said.
Boston Beer Co. has allocated $15-20 million to a national broadcast campaign now being developed by Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, according to sources.
That budget would represent at least a twofold increase over the Boston brewery's ad spending last year, when it doled out about $7.5 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Neither Carmichael Lynch nor Boston Beer executives returned phone calls by press time.
The client hopes to consolidate the leadership position of the Samuel Adams brand in the "craft beer" segment over rivals such as Pete's Brewing Co. and Sierra Nevada, while snatching some market share from larger competitors such as Heineken, said Jean-Michel Valette, a consultant who follows the food and beverage industry for Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco.
Also getting a plug in the campaign will be Samuel Adams White Ale, a light and spicy concoction the brewer used to offer exclusively in the spring, but now plans to make available year round. "They shouldn't lean on [promoting] the flavors," Valette said. "The flagships . . . are what's growing in the beer industry."
The ad effort, which will include national cable, regional and spot TV buys, is in the final approval stage, with several commercials already shot, sources said. As soon as Boston Beer founder Jim Koch signs off on the edited spots, they could begin airing as soon as next week, sources said. Media Buying Services in New York is handling media buying.
According to Valette, Koch wants Boston Beer to one day be "as big as Heineken." A large-scale advertising campaign alone will not achieve that end but could be a step in the right direction, Valette added.