America’s Oldest Beer Brand Hires a New Agency to Guide Its Expansion

Yuengling selects Laughlin Constable to handle creative

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America’s oldest brewery has a new creative partner.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. selected Chicago-based independent agency Laughlin Constable as creative agency of record for Yuengling, following a review which included incumbent Allen & Gerritsen.

Dan Fietsam, who joined Laughlin Constable as chief creative officer in June 2016, has a long history in the category, having worked on several Bud Light Super Bowl spots earlier in his career.

Laughlin Constable will be tasked with launching a multiyear creative platform for the brand, best known for its flagship amber lager, with campaigns including video, audio, social media, OOH, print, home, on-premise and retail elements. A Yuengling spokesperson confirmed that the incumbent shop will also continue working on the business, stating, “Our project-based partnership with A&G will be unchanged.”

The appointment comes on the heels of Yuengling expanding its distribution to Kentucky, making the beer available in more than 20 states.

“Yuengling is the country’s largest craft beer, and a truly unique brand built on character and perseverance,” Laughlin Constable CEO Mat Lignel said. “In partnering with such an iconic brand, we are excited to help solidify its status and have ambitious plans that we will execute in the next few months.”

Philadelphia and Boston-based agency Allen & Gerritsen formerly handled creative for the brand and launched Yuengling’s largest campaign, entitled “Respect. It’s Earned.” touting the legacy brewery’s nearly 200-year history, back in March 2016. Later that year, the brewery faced a boycott from beer drinkers in response to owner Dick Yuengling Jr.’s endorsement of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

Yuengling traces its history back to 1829, when it was founded as Eagle Brewery. The company has brewed out of its current Pottsville, Pa. headquarters since 1831, following a fire which burned down the original brewery. In 1873, the brewery changed its name to D.G. Yuengling & Son when Frederick Yuengling joined his father, David, as partner. Dick Yuengling Jr. took over the company in 1985 and, according to Forbes, turned a “struggling family brewery … into a $550 million (revenues) beer giant.” Yuengling expanded its manufacturing capabilities with a Tampa, Fla. brewery location in 1999 and added a second Pennsylvania location the following year.

Yuengling spent around $5 million on measured marketing domestically last year, according to Kantar Media.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.