Advertising Age reported Anheuser-Busch InBev completed a review that moved the Michelob Ultra account from Havas Chicago to FCB Chicago—which is like bar-hopping from Hooters to Tilted Kilt. An InBev spokesperson gushed, “FCB really demonstrated strong creative and content capabilities that will help our growing brand grow.” Right. From those wonderful folks who gave you “Man Up” for Miller Lite. Not sure why there are few details about the actual review—which launched in December—or the probably White advertising agencies that participated. Maybe it was a case of Corporate Cultural Collusion over cold beers. Given A-B InBev’s notorious cheapness, perhaps the “creative and content capabilities” were demonstrated by accounting and procurement wonks. One thing can be presumed with reasonable certainty: the shootout was an ultra exclusive affair.
FCB Wins Michelob Ultra
The Interpublic Shop Gets a Beer Brand Back on its Client Roster
By E.J. Schultz
Interpublic’s FCB has won creative ad duties for Michelob Ultra after a review that began late last year. The fast-growing Anheuser-Busch InBev brand had been at Havas’ Palm & Havas in Chicago before the brewer put the account into review.
“FCB really demonstrated strong creative and content capabilities that will help our growing brand grow,” an A-B InBev spokesman said, confirming the move.
The agency is expected to handle the account from its Chicago and Toronto offices.
Ultra has been a star performer in the beer industry, quietly posting continual sales growth without getting the kind of massive ad spending support enjoyed by other big light beer brands. Ultra is the seventh-largest beer brand by sales, according to IRI, which does not include bar sales. In the 52-week period ending Nov. 2, Michelob Ultra sales were up 11.8% to $887.5 million.
The brewer spent $49.6 million in measured media on Ultra in the first 11 months of last year, according to the latest data available from Kantar Media. That compares with $292 million that was spent on Bud Light, the nation’s top-selling beer.
The win is significant for FCB because it gives the shop a beer account for the first time since MillerCoors cut ties with the agency in mid 2012.
Contributing: Maureen Morrison