Stella Artois Taps Mother for $30M Global Creative Push

InBev Impressed by Agency's Earlier Work on Low-Alcohol Version of Brand

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Belgian brewer InBev has appointed Mother, London, to handle a $30 million global campaign for Stella Artois after a three-month-long pitch.

In the final three weeks of the review, work by independent shop Mother and Publicis Groupe-owned Publicis was researched globally before Mother emerged victorious.

Mother, which has offices in London, New York and Buenos Aires, first reeled in a new low-alcohol version of Stella in July against Lowe London, the beer's agency of record for the last 25 years.

Lowe walks out
The move prompted Lowe to resign the main Stella business, which then went up for review. Lowe's most famous work for the brewer was the long-running and lavishly produced "Reassuringly Expensive" campaign that began in 1992.

"Stella Artois has selected the agency Mother to work on Stella Artois' new global advertising campaign," InBev said in a statement. "Mother will work with the global team on the development of the new global campaign for Stella Artois. Local countries have the autonomy to choose their local activation partners."

The brewer added, "The work done by Mother on the [low-alcohol Stella] and on the pitch convinced us of their great creative capability and their ability to help us grow Stella Artois globally."

New regime
Mother's work for the new brew is set in the French Riviera and uses the tagline "La Nouvelle Smooth." The agency's first work for the main Stella brand will run in 2009.

InBev, which in recent weeks officially completed a merger with Anheuser-Busch, announced in its third-quarter results Nov. 6 that Stella Artois had grown 8.1% in the year to date. This year, the brewer has invested in fewer brands in order to maintain focus on its top performers, which also include Beck's, Brahma and Leffe.
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