Wieden Keeps Locals Happy for Henry Weinhard’s

Wieden + Ken nedy continues to serve up a Northwest flavor in its work for Henry Weinhard’s beer.

New ads breaking this month from the Portland, Ore., agency continue a campaign launched last year that was a big hit with the client. “We felt it worked really well,” said brand manager Chris Lierman. “It got great response from the distributor network, and we made some real progress in sales.”

Lierman said year-to-date sales are up 5.5 percent over last year in the Northwest, where the beer is available. The brewer said it sold more than 270,000 barrels last year.

The 146-year-old brand has also boosted ad spending by 60 percent since 2000, said Lierman. The company spent less than $500,000 in both 2000 and 2001, per CMR.

Two new TV ads show groups of young men enjoying Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve in less-than-ideal situations. In one, guys in winter coats are gathered near the doorway of a crowded bar, drinking Henry’s while eyeing a table where two older men sit. After the waitress serves the men two more beers, the younger guys are seen outside, sitting happily in the rain with their brew.

The other spot has three buddies lounging in a hot tub. As one of them boasts that he built it himself, the tub suddenly falls apart. He sheepishly offers his friends some Henry’s.

Wieden account director Tom Blessington said the ads show “specific Northwest beer-drinking occasions” that are based on the personal experiences of Wieden creatives and their friends.

Ads retain the tag, “Beer means more here.” People in the region “love different types of beer, and they love the identity the Northwest has with the whole microbrew and craft-brew beer scene,” Lierman said.

The campaign also includes 20 print ads, three outdoor boards and five radio spots touting Private Reserve and other specialty beers.

Henry Weinhard’s is brewed in Tumwater, Wash., and distributed by Miller Brewing.