Last week MillerCoors’ parent company SABMiller shocked some (not all) in the ad industry by severing its ties to WPP shop Cavalry and launching a creative review for the Coors brand.
Today the client confirmed that it is also in the midst of a separate review for Leinenkugel’s, the Wisconsin-based brewery purchased by the Miller company in 1988.
Leinenkugel’s is essentially the “craft” beer wing of the larger MillerCoors family. Over the past several years, the company has released new flavors and corresponding ad campaigns in an attempt to capture more market share from the many upstart breweries that have been slowly eroding the dominance of SABMiller and AB InBev.
From a MillerCoors spokesperson:
“…as Leinenkugel’s continues to grow, we decided to expand the brewing company’s roster of agencies by adding a dedicated ATL partner. In early July, Leinenkugel’s initiated the pitch process. We expect to award the business in August.”
The brand last launched a review back in 1999, with a large group of local agencies competing for its business. Milwaukee/Chicago agency Jacobson / Rost won the account and continued working with the client through its latest campaign to promote the Summer Shandy variety, which was introduced in 2007 and got bigger starting in 2012 thanks to a marketing push from its parent company.
Here’s the ad, complete with underdog angle:
MillerCoors is going out of its way to promote the brand with work that goes well beyond the TV spot above. Just yesterday, Adweek reported on a new collaboration with Airbnb in which curious tourists can rent “branded” spaces in the hipster-heavy locales of Austin and Brooklyn.
These “Leinie Lodges” come complete with roof access, “crimson throw-pillows embroidered with the brewer’s name” and fridges filled with fruity brews aimed at the kind of people who made this ad.
MillerCoors didn’t tell us which agencies are pitching at the moment or whether Jacobson / Rost is in the running, but we hear that one of the contenders is based in Austin–which would be appropriate, given the client’s new focus on hirsute tastemakers.