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Patron Leaves Cramer-Krasselt, Begins Global Review

Tequila Maker Wants New Shop to Handle Creative and Media

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The newest version of Patron.
The newest version of Patron.

The Patron Spirits Co. has parted ways with Cramer-Krasselt, New York, and begun a review for a new agency to handle global creative and media planning and buying. The review will cover the marketer's flagship tequila brand as well as smaller brands Ultimat vodka and Pyrat rum.

The goal is to find one single shop for both creative duties and broadcast and outdoor media duties, a spokesman said. Those tasks had been handled by C-K since the agency won the account in 2012. Print buying will continue to be handled by 3 Plus Media, while digital will remain at Razorfish.

"We're looking for a highly strategic and creative agency partner that can drive innovation and breakthrough thinking across our iconic brand portfolio,while continuing to communicate our unwavering commitment to artisanal, handcrafted tequila," Global Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum said in a statement. He added that "we are intent on strengthening and accelerating our leadership position in the ultra-premium tequila category, and building upon our incredibly healthy brands and business, rather than seeking to fix what is clearly not broken."

A C-K spokeswoman declined comment.

Sales of Patron tequila grew 6.6% in the U.S. in the 52 weeks ending July 13 to $63.5 million, according to IRI, which excludes bar sales. The brand is the second-largest tequila in the states, with a little more than 18% dollar share, trailing Jose Cuervo, which has 30.8% share.

Patron last year spent $41.5 million on measured media in the U.S. across its brand portfolio, according to Kantar Media.

Patron is expected to name the new agency in November. The review will be conducted by Select Resources International. Mr. Applbaum joined the company late last year. His resume includes stints at Target Australia, RadioShack and Coca-Cola Co.

Patron's newest tequila version is called Roca Patrón, an ultra- premium product that is the company's first tequila line made entirely by using a process called "tahona." The method, as described by Patron in a recent statement, involves using a "two-ton stone wheel hand-carved from volcanic rock (roca), that slowly crushes the cooked agave to break the bonds of fiber and release the rich agave juice." The lineup includes Roca Patrón Silver, Roca Patrón Reposado, and Roca Patrón Añejo, which retail for between $69.99 to $89.99 per bottle.

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