Mike’s Hard Lemonade in Play

NEW YORK Mike’s Hard Lemonade has hired Ark Advisors to guide a review of its account, now handled by We Are Gigantic.

Ad spending could hit $30 million, Ark said, and the incumbent, an independent shop here, is invited to defend. Mike’s spent $12 million in measured media last year and $5 million in the first half of 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“Mike’s Hard Lemonade…is seeking an agency to help energize its business. Along with recent new product launches, we believe this will help us to realize the full potential of this great trademark,” said Kevin McLaughlin, vp, marketing, in a statement. “This search is a reflection of our desire to seek out the best resources to partner with us for the long term.”

The brand’s first work by the shop broke in May and attempted to pump up the drink’s testosterone level. In a spot called “Ryan,” a woman discussed how amazing her boyfriend is. The boyfriend, she related in tones of awe, was buying a horse because he tired of borrowing one for polo matches. The guy grinned and nodded knowingly, signaling that he actually would not buy a horse at any point in the near future.

That campaign consisted of three TV spots and 10 Internet films.

We Are Gigantic is led by Neil Powell, formerly CCO at MDC Partners’ Margeotes Fertitta + Powell, which was absorbed by sibling Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners earlier this year. Powell left at that time to form his own shop under MDC.