Harpoon’s First Strike

Davis, Goransson Personalize Microbrewery
BOSTON – The Mass. Bay Brewing Co.’s first brand campaign for its flagship Harpoon Ale urges consumers to “Love beer. Love life.”
The client last fall chose boutique Davis & Goransson for creative chores and the Boston office of Western Initiative Media for buying duties on its mid-six-figure account. Art director Dick Davis and copywriter Doug Goransson now handle their portion of the assignment at Boston’s Gearon Hoffman, which they joined in May.
Print ads and billboards appearing in Boston show good-looking young people socializing and enjoying their Harpoons. Three 30-second radio spots feature interviews with Harpoon staff, including co-founders Dan Kenary and Rich Doyle, and conversations with Harpoon drinkers, taped at Boston’s Rattlesnake Bar & Grill.
The mission of the campaign is simply “to introduce people to the beer – bring the brewery out to the people,” Goransson said.
The ad campaign is the first in the 13-year history of Mass. Bay Brewing, which in the past had done collateral projects and some promotions for seasonal events at the brewery.
The current effort was driven by an “obvious desire to gain market share and revenues,” said Harpoon senior vice president and brand manager Charlie Storey, who declined to disclose sales figures.
Given the strength of the brand near its home base and its relatively small budget, advertising will only target Greater Boston for the time being, Goransson said.