Droga5 will not make more ads starring Patrick Stewart or Aubrey Plaza anytime soon.
The agency has resigned from the Heineken business after being chosen to promote AB InBev’s malt beverage brand The Best Damn. Since Droga5 had been working on the Strongbow Cider and Newcastle beer brands since 2013, the win presented a conflict of interest.
A client spokesperson confirmed today that Droga5 has joined its agency roster for the first time, writing: “They will work on strategic planning and creative execution for Best Damn, one of our newest brand families, which includes Best Damn Root Beer and Best Damn Cherry Cola nationally.”
An agency rep also told us that the independent shop will no longer work on the Heineken business and that it has picked up the Best Damn account.
There was no review. AB InBev had been working with the independent agency Protein since announcing the launch of its new beverage line last December, but that contract ended a few months ago, at which point the beer giant reached out to Droga5 directly.
The relatively new line of drinks, which includes root beer, cherry cola and apple ale varieties, has a higher alcohol content (5.5%) than standard AB InBev beers like Budweiser. Best Damn is a brand extension rather than an acquisition, and it launched last year at a time when the parent company had been aggressively acting to expand its market beyond beer while competing with chief rivals MillerCoors and Heineken—which offered the Strongbow and Redd’s Apple beverages, respectively.
The client spokesperson wrote, “The Best Damn brand is part of our Share of Throat team, which is focused on near beer and includes brands like the Bud Light Lime Lime-a-Ritas, led by VP Rashmi Patel,” adding that future promotional efforts would be driven by Kathy Sattler, senior director of marketing for new brands.
Droga5’s first work on the new business will debut early next year. Spending estimates were not available at the time of this post.