72andSunny loses Coors Banquet account to Mekanism

The move suggests trouble for the agency's Coors Light account

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Credit: Coors Banquet

MDC Partners-owned 72andSunny has lost the Coors Banquet account to Mekanism. A MillerCoors spokeswoman confirmed the move today. 72andSunny still has the much-larger Coors Light account, according to the spokeswoman. But the Banquet loss is an ominous sign for 72andSunny because MillerCoors has traditionally kept the Coors family of brands at the same agency.

But it's not all good news for Mekanism, either. The independent agency is on the losing end of another MillerCoors account shift with the brewer moving its Redd's brand of flavored malt beverages to Omnicom's Energy BBDO. The Chicago-based agency joined the MillerCoors roster in October when it picked up creative for Cape Line, a new low-calorie flavored malt beverage brand that MillerCoors announced in August. Omnicom's DDB Chicago is the lead agency for Miller Lite.

MillerCoors shoveled $184 million in measured media into the Coors family of brands in 2017, according to the Ad Age Datacenter. Coors Light, the second-largest beer in the U.S., accounts for most of that spending. 72andSunny picked up all the Coors brands in late 2015 after MillerCoors cut WPP's Cavalry of Chicago. But Coors Light has been stuck in a slump lately. Case sales volume fell 6.3 percent in the year-to-date period ending Nov. 24, according to Nielsen. Coors Banquet did not do much better, falling 6.2 percent.

MillerCoors is cranking up its TV ad buys for Coors Light this month in an attempt to spur a comeback. Two ads that had been running on digital-only will get heavy TV rotation all month, including in pro and college football programming, the brewer's corporate blog recently reported.

The ads, created by 72andSunny, promote Coors Light's "cold-activated" cans, part of the brand's new strategy to dial-up its "cold" positioning.

MillerCoors is also trying to turn around Redd's, which debuted six years ago with strong sales but has since fallen on harder times. Sales of the Redd's brand franchise fell 27 percent in volume year-to-date through Nov. 24, according to the MillerCoors blog.

"It's imperative to get this sizable brand back on track," Bryan Ferschinger, MillerCoors VP of above-premium brands, stated in comments posted on the blog. "The whole idea here — and why we chose Energy BBDO for this project — is that they're a partner that can bring some strategic thinking, passion and a new energy to Redd's and Redd's Wicked."

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