Chicago Shop Retargets A-B Malt Liquor

Seeking to extend the consumer base for its King Cobra malt liquor brand, Anheuser-Busch is readying a new radio campaign aimed at a Hispanic audience from Washington Daniel Advertising here.
Washington Daniel is producing three to four radio spots for King Cobra that differ creatively depending on the segment of the Hispanic population they are targeting, according to agency principal Bill Daniel. Music used in the spots will cue the audience: mariachi for Mexican consumers, for example, and salsa for Puerto Ricans, Daniel said.
Plans call for the initial pool of spots to air in Southern California and on the East Coast, Daniel said. “There are definite differences between the regions,” said partner Bernie Washington.
The agency is also crafting promotional radio spots for A-B’s Hurricane malt liquor brand. These spots employ an edgy quality, using a hip-hop soundtrack, and are aimed at African Americans, Washington said.
Traditionally marketed toward African Americans, malt liquors are also popular in the Hispanic community, which has led the brewer to pursue a more concerted marketing push in that arena, Washington said. “We’re extending the invitation” to the Hispanic consumer through the radio work, he said.
A-B officials declined comment on the ad effort. Measured media spending by A-B on its malt liquors was virtually nonexistent last year, with $85,000 reported for Hurricane and nothing at all for King Cobra, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The tag for King Cobra remains, “Don’t let the smooth taste fool you,” while Hurricane uses the line, “Just give me some wind.”
For the 52 weeks ending April 19, supermarket sales of King Cobra totalled $8 million, down 3.7 percent from the same period a year earlier and far below category leader Schlitz Malt Liquor’s $21 million in sales, according to Information Resources. Hurricane sales were pegged at $1.2 million, according to IRI.