SAN FRANCISCO - Anheuser-Busch has asked Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to work on the "heritage" ad campaign now handled by A-B's lead shop, DDB Needham in Chicago.
A-B is asking Goodby to "partner" with Needham, according to Bob Lachky, vice president of brand management for the St. Louis-based brewer. Goodby and Needham are both owned by Omnicom Group in New York.
The heritage effort, which A-B refers to as the "quality" campaign and is focused around its flagship Budweiser brand, broke in the summer of 1997. The ads feature prominent members of the Busch family, such as chairman August Busch III, waxing philosophical about Budweiser.
A-B is bringing Goodby into the mix to "help freshen up" the campaign, Lachky said. Busch family members will continue to appear in ads, he said. Needham and Goodby are extensively evaluating the campaign and where it should go next, he said, adding that the effort will expand to include print and outdoor work.
The two agencies will also work with Open Minds, Laguna Niguel, Calif., the creative boutique that came up with the idea for the "heritage" effort, Lachky said. Open Minds will likely act only as a strategic adviser on the work, said sources.
Goodby joins the heritage campaign as A-B is scaling back its popular TV spots featuring lizards Louie and Frank due to pressure from children's advocacy groups, said sources.
While Lachky insisted Louie is "too hot" to drop, he added that the lizards will have less TV exposure this summer due to A-B's reduced "prime-time weight."
- with Trevor Jensen.