Can Square One Be ‘Hip’?

That’s What It Will Take for Texans to Win Kahlœa
DALLAS–Square One here is among six contenders in a $12 million national account review for Allied Domecq’s Kahlœa, a coffee liqueur looking to boost summer sales and broaden its demographics.
According to a client official, those pitching for the creative and media account are Square One; incumbent Lois/EJL, BBDO Worldwide and Leap Partnership, all Chicago; and ID8, Los Angeles. Lois/EJL, New York, is also competing, but not in tandem with its Chicago sister office. The shops were given strategic and creative projects to demonstrate how to improve Kahlœa’s nonwinter sales and appeal to adults under 30.
Square One partner Tom Hansen said the review is an opportunity to bring national exposure to his low-profile shop.
“I’m looking at this as a chance to prove ourselves against the best,” said Hansen, who along with principal Tom Murphy handled Miller assignments while at Young & Rubicam and Leo Burnett in Chicago. Square One’s account list includes the Miller Brewing-owned Red Dog beer and Miller Lite assignments in Texas.
A decision is expected by July or August, according to Ross Fleckenstein, vice president and director of communications for Allied Domecq in Southfield, Mich.
Hansen said Kahlœa officials are mainly looking for ideas to make the libation more “hip” for younger drinkers.
According to the Adams Liquor Handbook, the brand’s sales were up 5 percent to 1.4 million cases last year, supported by $8.6 million in advertising, per Competitive Media Reporting. The bulk of placements was in network spot and national cable television from Lois on its line of Drinks To Go, a low-alcohol cocktail mix.
Kahlœa appears to be the first of several Allied Domecq brands that will be reviewed by the London-based parent company. Allied Domecq reorganized its worldwide spirits and wine business to include a large-scale review of all agencies and a 25 percent boost in spending.