MillerCoors is launching a creative agency review for Coors Light, delivering a significant blow to incumbent agency 72andSunny, Ad Age has learned. The MDC Partners shop has held the account for the brewer's largest brand since late 2015.
"With the stated need to better connect with younger legal drinking age consumers, for the first time in over three years Coors Light is opening up its roster of agencies," a MillerCoors spokesman said in a statement.
The review is among the first major moves made under Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques, who recently joined the brewer from Kraft Heinz.
"Our current mix of agencies have done some incredible work but as we bring Coors Light back to what made it so successful to begin with, we're seeing some exciting ideas from new places about how that concept can come to life," Ryan Reis, VP of the Coors family of brands, said in a statement. "As we look to identify new and disruptive ways for the brand to come to life, we are starting to explore some of these new partnerships."
72andSunny in a statement said it would not participate in the review. "We've put a lot of great work on the table for this brand and some of it made it out into the world, but not enough," the agency stated. "At this point, our creative differences are such that we are in better service as fans and beer drinkers than as their agency."
Coors Light is the nation's second largest beer behind Bud Light, commanding 7.3 percent market share, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. But the so-called Silver Bullet has been stuck in a long-term sales slump. Shipment volume declined 6 percent last year, according to Beer Marketer's Insights. While all big beer brands have struggled, Coors Light has underperformed its sibling brand, Miller Lite, which fell about 4 percent. DDB handles Miller Lite.
MillerCoors shoveled $184 million in measured media into the Coors family of brands in 2017, according to the latest data from the Ad Age Datacenter. Coors Light accounts for most of that spending.
In December MillerCoors moved Coors Banquet, which is much smaller than Coors Light from 72andSunny to Mekanism. The brewer is expected to launch a formal agency review for Coors Light.
Under 72andSunny, the brand in recent months has tried to recapture its momentum by playing up emphasizing its its classic "World's Most Refreshing Beer" tagline.
Lately, Coors Light has been battling Bud Light in the wake of Anheuser Busch InBev's Super Bowl ads that mocked both Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup in their brewing process. MillerCoors has responded by rallying support in the farming community, while pointing out that corn syrup is simply used during the brewing process but does not make its way into the final product.