72andSunny Wins Coors Light

MDC Shop Takes Over Largest MillerCoors-owned Brew

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MillerCoors has picked 72andSunny as the lead creative and digital agency for Coors brands after a nearly two month review.

MillerCoors, which moved Miller Lite to TBWA in Los Angeles last year, put Coors brands into review in early August after cutting ties with WPP's Cavalry of Chicago. MDC-owned 72andSunny beat out Interpublic's Deutsch and Omnicom's 180 L.A.

The agency move -- orchestrated by new Chief Marketing Officer David Kroll -- comes as MillerCoors seeks to improve sales trends on Coors Light. The brew was once a star performer but has been stuck in a sales slump since 2013. Returning the so-called Silver Bullet to volume growth has emerged as a major priority of new MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley. Coors Banquet is a smaller brand but has posted stronger growth in recent years.

"This agency review was incredibly competitive, with three outstanding agencies showing an amazing depth of strategic thinking and creativity," Mr. Kroll said in a statement. "72andSunny was awarded the business based on a clear ability to build brands that speak with a bold intensity and distinct POV. They demonstrated an inherent understanding of today's drinker and how to engage them in a multi-channel, unplugged world. I truly appreciated their competitive grit and drive to build brands that define their respective categories."

Coors Light is the nation's second-largest brew with 8.2% share at the end of 2014, but that is down from 8.5% the year prior, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. MillerCoors spent $155.9 million on measured media on the Coors family of brands last year, according to the Ad Age Datacenter, which uses figures from Kantar Media.

The Coors win gets 72andSunny back in the beer business. The shop in recent years had some assignments from Anheuser-Busch InBev, including doing global work for Corona earlier this year before the Mexican import was moved to Wieden & Kennedy. A-B InBev owns Corona globally but not in the U.S.

"Our entire agency was galvanized to win this business and collaborate with MillerCoors to further build these two iconic brands," John Boiler, founder and CEO of 72andSunny, said in a statement, referring to Coors Light and Coors Banquet. "Both brands have amazing histories and brewing tradition, giving them great stories to tell. We can't wait to get to work doing just that."

Cavalry had also handled newer brands such as Redd's Apple Ale and Smith & Forge Hard Cider. Those brands, along with the soon-to-be launched Henry's Hard Soda, in mid-August were moved to Mekanism, New York. Meanwhile, Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, recently won the brewer's Leinenkugel's brand.

Contributing: Maureen Morrison

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