Monster Energy, Arrive at M/Z

LOS ANGELES Independent Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising has been assigned the account of Hansen’s natural soft drinks and its Monster Energy brand, the agency’s executive creative director said today.

“The challenge on [Monster] is to get them even bigger than they’ve been,” said Jordin Mendelsohn at the Los Angeles shop. “Without doing much advertising at all, they’ve been challenging Red Bull. So we’ve got to keep them cool and not commercialized.”

Mendelsohn said the agency’s work on Carl’s Jr., particularly the Paris Hilton hamburger spot last year, convinced the client that M/Z knew how to reach the demo for energy drinks, which tends to be young males.

Claudia Caplan, M/Z’s CMO, said that much like Hansen Beverage Co.’s soft drinks, Monster Energy business was built up largely through below-the-line marketing such as promotions, guerrilla tactics, street sampling and association with extreme sports.

“But seeing Coke and Pepsi-which sponsored the Super Bowl pre-game with its energy-drink-coming into the space, the client at least wants to see what advertising can do for them,” Caplan said.

Separately, M/Z prevailed in a review of Brown Shoe Co.’s account, winning its first dot-com client. The venerable St. Louis-based business owns the Buster Brown, Naturalizer, Bass and Dr. Scholl’s brands, among others.

“Shoes are interesting because women have an emotional relationship with shoes, and we tend to do emotional work,” Caplan said, “so that created a wonderful marriage.”

Caplan said the agency “avoided dot-coms in the past because the principals “couldn’t see the revenue stream,” whereas Brown is an established retailer (founded in 1878) backed by a “huge, publicly held company.” She said there was a competitive pitch for the business involving undisclosed contenders.

Billings on the two accounts were not disclosed. Neither nor Hansen’s did significant advertising in measured media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.