A-B's Shock Top Up for Grabs as Brewer Talks to Agencies

The Wheat Beer Has Made Stops at Anomaly, 72andSunny in Recent Years

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Shock Top's ad in Super Bowl 50.
Shock Top's ad in Super Bowl 50. Credit: Shock Top

Agencies looking to land a beer account might have a willing listener in Anheuser-Busch InBev. The brewing giant has begun discussions with shops about its Shock Top wheat beer brand, AB InBev confirmed to Ad Age.

"What we're doing right now is simply having a few conversations with leading creative agencies," Jake Kirsch, VP of Shock Top, said in a statement. "This isn't a review, as we haven't had a creative AOR for some time. As we plan for 2017, and beyond, we're having these conversations as part of our normal course of business. Shock Top is always open to new ideas and discussions with the best and brightest creative minds in the industry."

The brew had been using Anomaly, Toronto, which this year created the brand's first Super Bowl spot as part of the "Live Life Unfiltered" campaign. The campaign starred comedian/actor T.J. Miller bantering with Shock Top's orange "Wedgehead" mascot. The brand had previously used 72andSunny. But that relationship ended a couple years ago, prior to Shock Top beginning its first national TV campaign in early 2014, which was handled by independent agency Group 360, St. Louis.

Anomaly, which handles Budweiser globally for the brewer, was not considered Shock Top's agency of record, but the shop stepped in to do the Super Bowl ad. "I am incredibly proud of the strategic and creative effort put forth on Shock Top," Anomaly partner Jason DeLand told Ad Age. "We continue on the brand in Canada, where it is one of the fastest growing brands there."

The 10-year-old brand competes with MillerCoors' more-established Blue Moon. With the Super Bowl ad, AB InBev signaled that Shock Top was becoming a more important piece of its portfolio. The brewer spent $21.6 million in measured media on Shock Top in the U.S. in the first six months of 2016, compared with $2.5 million for all of 2015, according to Kantar Media.

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