A-B Keeps Michelob GD Regional; Moves Account To Glennon & Co.

ST. LOUIS – Despite healthy sales in its test markets, Anhesuer-Busch will keep its year-old Michelob Golden Draft relegated to a regional brand, and move the advertising from DDB Needham Chicago to Glennon & Cos., St. Louis.
Meanwhile, A-B vp/Budweiser brands August Busch IV wants to ‘push ahead’ on bringing out a cold-filtered product under the Budweiser name in an effort to boost Bud family volume, according to insiders.
‘August doesn’t believe the spending should go behind a national rollout of a new Michelob product,’ said one source close to the brewer. ‘He’d like to see the money put behind the Bud brands.’
Needham is handling a test project for the brand, agency sources say, although there is some question about when the company will bring it out. Needham’s assignment is one of several new-product initiatives Anheuser-Busch’s agencies are currently developing (ADWEEK, June 28).
A-B launched Michelob Golden Draft in April 1991 in six test markets: Austin, Texas; St. Paul, Minn.; Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Seattle. The test was later expanded into Chicago.
The brand was priced as a premium brand to go head-to-head with Miller Brewing Co.’s Miller Genuine Draft. Its sibling brands Michelob and Michelob Light are priced higher, in the super-premium category. Internal debate over the wisdom of different prices under the Michelob brand umbrella apparently was one reason the brand never reached national distribution. However, A-B officials were pleased with its performance in the test markets, especially in Chicago.
The move is a boon for Glennon, named to handle A-B’s Bud summer promotion earlier this year. Although A-B spent $8-million on Golden Draft last year, it will most likely downscale it and spend more money behind promotions.
An A-B spokesperson said only say that Glennon is working on a special project for Golden Draft.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)