Smith & Jones Rebrands Specialty Beers

New York Fischer Beverages International, a White Plains, N.Y.-based specialty-beer distributor, has tapped Smith & Jones for branding duties on seven beers, beginning with a campaign for Moretti Birra that launched this month.

The Troy, N,Y.-based branding agency is charged with creating a unique personality for each of the beers, which include Affligem, Hacker-Pschorr, Moretti, Murphy’s Stout, Murphy’s Red, Paulaner and Wieckse Witte.

The shop won the $4 million account in March after an informal review in which three other undisclosed agencies participated, said Scott DeMartine, general manager of Fischer Beverages.

The Moretti Birra campaign includes spot radio, as well as display advertising in bars, restaurants and grocery stores. Among the work is a promotion that offers a discount on Italian deli meats with purchases of Moretti Birra at participating department stores.

“The days of just putting a beer on the shelf and saying, ‘I’m Italian, buy me,’ are over,” said DeMartine. De Martine added that the shop aims to associate the beer with casual Italian dining while targeting 25- to 34-year-olds.

“We’re just scratching the surface now, and while we’re creating this unique portfolio, we still have to sell beer,” DeMartine said of the promotional advertising. An Oktoberfest promotion is being planned for the distributor’s German labels, he said.