Crown Awards Pacifico, Victoria to GSD&M

As New AOR, Omnicom Shop Tasked With Broadening Appeal of the Two Mexican Imports

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Crown Imports has named Omnicom Group'sGSD&M as agency of record for Pacifico and Victoria beer, two small Mexican imports that Crown wants to grow into mainstream offerings.

The importer is moving Pacifico from Creature , Seattle, which had handled the brand for about five years, while Victoria previously used Pereira & O' Dell. Crown , which did not conduct a formal review, chose Austin, Texas-based GSD&M, after meeting the agency when it was reviewing shops for Corona Light and Modelo Especial, which were awarded to Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in September.

Crown Chief Marketing Officer Jim Sabia cited GSD&M's work for the Jarritos brand of beverages, which he said is "another brand from Mexico that 's beginning to cross over into the general market category."

Pacifico is the No. 15th ranked import in the U.S. and Victoria is ranked No. 20, according to Crown . The brands have gotten limited advertising support, but are poised for new investment with Crown tasking GSD&M to create new creative campaigns. Pacifico recorded measured media spending of $377,000 last year, according to Kantar Media.

Victoria is Mexico's oldest beer brand, but Crown only brought it to the states last year. It is now sold in 11 states where it has strong appeal with Hispanic consumers. "We need to begin to cross over to talk to the general-market consumer because our objective of this brand is to make it a brand for all consumers, not just the consumers from Mexico," Mr. Sabia said.

Pacifico is sold in every state but its core market has been in California where it is popular with surfers. Recently, Crown has rolled out Pacifico on draft in markets where regional craft beers enjoy strong popularity, including Denver and Austin. Next year, Crown will begin selling Pacifico draft in New York City, Mr. Sabia said. "We believe that this brand can compete with craft. The benefit it has is that it's more drinkable and more 'sessionable' than most craft beers are," he said.

Miami-based La Communidad remains the Hispanic agency for Victoria. Pacifico does not have a Hispanic agency.

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