THE THREE STOOGES PARTY DOWN FOR STROH'S;VINTAGE FOOTAGE HIGHLIGHTS ADS TOUTING SUMMER SWEEPSTAKES

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The Three Stooges next month will poke eyes, throw pies and-less characteristically-sell beer.

Stroh Brewery Co. is reviving its recurring promotional "Stroh-a-Party" theme to push the flagship brand in a multimedia campaign estimated at double the size of previous efforts.

AVAILABLE IN MAY

One 30-second TV spot and two 60-second radio commercials from Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, will be available beginning May 1, with local distributors deciding how and when to break them in their markets, said an executive familiar with the campaign.

The TV spot, narrated only by on-screen text, features vintage Three Stooges footage and announces a summer sweepstakes. Prizes include a big-screen TV, Three Stooges videos and barbecue equipment. The Stooges also are used in the radio spots.

The promotion will run through the fall, and media spending will likely be heaviest between June and August, when annual beer consumption peaks, the executive said, adding that the spots are likely to break first in the Midwest and Northeast, Stroh's strongest regions.

The campaign will be supported by point-of-purchase materials from Flair Communications, Chicago.

DOUBLING SPENDING

Stroh last year spent more than $4.7 million on media-and more than $1.1 million on the Stroh's brand, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The "Stroh-a-Party" campaign could double the spending to more than $2 million.

Stroh was the fourth-largest U.S. brewer last year, with a 5.4% market share, down from 5.9% in 1994, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. Its '96 share could nearly double following its acquisition of G. Heileman Brewing Co., announced in February and expected to be complete in July. Heileman's 1995 market share fell to 3.8%, from 4.2%.

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