Dos Equis will overhaul ad pitch to tout quality

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Labatt USA plans to overhaul advertising for Dos Equis to emphasize product quality.

The current estimated $5 million effort from Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, positions the Mexican beer as an alternative to the routine and runs with the tag, "Viva la revolucion!"

While creative and media are being evaluated, Labatt USA isn't planning an agency review.

"We want to improve the focus on the brand," said Brad Hittle, group marketing director-Mexican brands for Labatt USA.

Also the importer of No. 2 Mexican brand Tecate as well as the smaller Sol, Bohemia and Carta Blanca, the marketer wants to position Dos Equis as the equal of European imports.

MEDIA STRATEGY TO CHANGE

In addition to changing the creative, Labatt USA wants to alter the media strategy; it has been using only print ads this year.

Driven by the growth of Corona Extra, imported in the U.S. by Gambrinus Co. and Barton Beers, Mexican brews are hot. Dos Equis is the third-largest beer from south of the border, with 3 million cases sold in 1997, up 25% from the year-earlier period, according to industry newsletter Beer Marketer's Insights.

Labatt USA, jointly owned by Canada's Labatt and Mexico's Femsa breweries, handles a wide array of imports as well as domestic specialty beers, such as Rolling Rock and Anchor Steam. The company hopes to triple its 1997 volume of 2.8 million barrels within the next five years (AA, Feb. 16). It plans to spend more than $80 million on marketing in 1998, including more than $25 million on media.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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