GAMBRINUS BACKS MOOSEHEAD WITH $5 MIL CAMPAIGN

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Gambrinus Co. this month breaks a $5.5 million campaign for Moosehead beer, head and antlers above recent support for the Canadian brew.

The campaign positions Moosehead as a beer for people who enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, said Ron Christesson, Gambrinus marketing director.

"It's basically a lifestyle campaign," Mr. Christesson said. PGC Advertising, Dallas, handles the cable, radio, print and outdoor campaign. The ads break in national magazines this month, with additional support in November..

The $5 million is a marked increase over recent support. Under Guinness Import Co., Moosehead was backed with $1.8 million in 1996 and only $180,000 in '95, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

ANOTHER LIFESTYLE PITCH

A lifestyle ad approach has proved successful for Corona, for which Gambrinus shares importing duties with Barton Beers.

Corona ads, handled by Lois/EJL, Chicago, position the brand as a beer to drink while kicking back at the beach.

Gambrinus acquired Moosehead April 1 from Guinness and moved the account to PGC from Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, New York.

Moosehead sales were up 5.6% to 2.9 million cases last year, making it the No. 12 import, Impact says. Its performance lagged the import segment, however, which surged 10% to 167.3 million cases.

Five of the top 15 imports last year were Canadian brands, representing 30.5

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