Freeman Takes Pabst Out to the Old Ball Game

NEW YORK Cliff Freeman and Partners this week launches its first work for Pabst Brewing Co.’s Old Style beer via a nostalgic print and outdoor campaign targeting Chicago Cubs fans with the tagline, “Now that’s Old Style.”

Ads show images of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, tinted to resemble baseball cards of the 1950s. Copy urges fans to skip work to go to day games, which typically begin at 1:20 p.m. “Ditching work for the bleachers? Now that’s Old Style,” reads one execution. “Working from 9 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.? Now that’s Old Style,” reads another.

“We’re kind of creating this colloquial phrase that people can grab on to,” said Dan Morales, creative director at the New York shop. The ads seek to convey the lifestyle of diehard Cubs fans, he said. “Their life is the Cubs and day games. It’s a cultural Chicago event.”

Old Style, known as “Chicago’s beer,” has been a sponsor of the Cubs for 54 years. The campaign seeks to play off this association.

“Our core strategy is to link Old Style and eventually Old Style Lite to the fabric of Chicago,” said Allen Hwang, director of marketing for Pabst Brewing Co.

Media spending is estimated at more than $1 million, according to Hwang. Print executions will appear in Chicago Cubs game programs and on transit posters, billboards and signage in and around Wrigley Field.

In addition to Morales, creatives on the campaign include art director Matthew Woodhams and copywriter Jim Kourakis.

Cliff Freeman won the Old Style assignment in December without a review.

Nielsen Monitor-Plus and TNS Media Intelligence/CMR show no ad spending for Old Style for the past several years. A mainly promotional campaign for the brand in 2003 asked consumers, “What would you do to see the Cubs win it all?”