Bud Light Goes from BBDO to W+K

By Patrick Coffee 

Weeks after losing the global Heineken account, Wieden+Kennedy has won Bud Light in the U.S. and Corona worldwide (which will be handled by its Amsterdam office).

Bud Light will no longer work with previous lead agency BBDO, the shop behind its “Up for Whatever” campaign.

The statement from Jorn Socquet, the company’s U.S. marketing VP:

“We’re pleased to announce that Wieden + Kennedy has joined our roster, assuming the role of lead creative agency for Bud Light. With an award-winning body of work in both CPG and alcohol segments and an impressive global footprint, Wieden + Kennedy brings a powerhouse of talent and experience to Bud Light, and we looking forward to taking the brand to new heights together.

Wieden+Kennedy’s appointment to Bud Light in the U.S. is part of an AB InBev global strategic partnership that includes creative support for the global brand Corona outside of the U.S.”

Socquet also gave this quote to Adweek’s Kristina Monllos:

“We’ve always looked at Wieden from the sidelines as an agency that one day we would potentially want to work with.”

It would seem, then, that the client has been looking to make a change for some time. This news is the culmination of a series of shifts that included several executive changes and the relocation of its operations from St. Louis to Manhattan. In March, the future of the account began to look more uncertain as BBDO moved the team working on the business from Chicago to New York.

Other recent changes:

It’s also worth nothing that, before landing with W+K, Bud Light went from DDB to mcgarrybowen to Translation and then to BBDO–all within a period of less than two years.

For the record, AB InBev clarifies that the most recent change had nothing to do with the problematic tagline that scored the company a round of bad press back in April, further supporting the theory that its new management team had been planning the move for some time.

According to Socquet, who cites W+K’s work for Nike as one reason for the switch, the new agency’s first work for the client will probably be next year’s Super Bowl campaign.

Earlier this week, Heineken went to Publicis after breaking with W+K, so we can debate which major beer brand got the better deal.