MullenLowe wins Grey Goose from BBDO
Grey Goose is also tapping Publicis Sapient for global digital and social strategy.
The agency changes come after Grey Goose owner Bacardi Limited last year named Lee Applbaum as its global chief marketing officer. Applbaum also oversees Patrón Spirits, which was acquired by Bacardi last year in a $5.1 billion deal. Patrón under Applbaum has used MullenLowe since 2014. Patrón also uses Publicis Sapient.
"Over the past five years, MullenLowe and Publicis Sapient have proven themselves essential in developing breakthrough communications strategies for Patrón," Applbaum stated. "We're very excited to bring this same dynamic energy to Grey Goose."
BBDO still handles other Bacardi Limited brands including the namesake rum brand. OMD remains Bacardi Limited's media agency.
The new agency selections "have solidified Applbaum's commitment to holistically overhaul and reposition the Grey Goose brand identity," Grey Goose said in a statement. The goal is to "reignite consumer engagement with the super-premium brand in a vodka category that faces stiff competition from value players who have been driving price compression, blurring perceptions of meaningful quality and differentiation," according to the statement.
Grey Goose has been in decline as surging upstart vodka brands like Tito's steal market share. Liquor trade publication Shanken News Daily recently reported that Grey Goose U.S. sales fell by a half-million cases in 2017, but the rate of decline slowed to to 2 percent last year. BBDO's last work for Grey Goose was a holiday campaign called "Made to Celebrate."
Applbaum oversees a range of duties for Grey Goose, including advertising, brand communications, experiential, packaging, and strategic direction on new product development and innovation. "Grey Goose and Patron are two iconic brands that stand alongside each other behind some of the best bars in the world," Applbaum stated in August when he took the Grey Goose job. "We can learn a lot from each other, and I look forward to a dynamic exchange of ideas, expertise, and experiences between the two brand teams."
Grey Goose spent $7.4 million on measured media in the first 11 months of last year, according to the latest data available from Kantar Media.