Mike's Hard Lemonade Taps Amalgamated for Creative

Spending Is $13 Million

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mike's Hard Lemonade has selected New York-based independent Amalgamated for creative duties following a review. Incumbent We Are Gigantic did not defend.

TNS Media Intelligence puts annual measured media spending for the marketer at about $13 million.

Review finalists
Amalgamated beat out three other finalists in the review, which was handled by Ark Advisors: independents Droga5 and Cole & Weber United; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen.

"Mike's at this stage in its development is at a really important crossroads for the brand," President Phil O'Neil said, noting that the liquor marketer wants to double in size over the next few years. "We think [Amalgamated] is uniquely qualified [to help us do this]," he said. "There was a terrific fit relative to strategic thinking about the brand."

"It's a true cultural icon brand and has a willingness and the courage to do all kinds of advertising," said Charles Rosen, founding partner of Amalgamated, which he launched in 2003 with two other former Cliff Freeman & Partners executives.

While a chunk of the forthcoming work, expected to break early this summer, is expected to be rooted in traditional elements such as TV and outdoor, the agency is planning to create nontraditional efforts as well, including events, digital and interactive.