Waikato-based advertising agency King St is feeling pretty chuffed with itself, having snapped up the business for Lion’s Waikato Draught brand, in a move pitted as restoring the brand “to its glory days”.
King St director Chris Williams says for a Waikato-based agency, the opportunity to work with a big brand like Lion Nathan is fantastic and “doesn’t happen that often", adding that winning the work wasn’t an overly competitive or expensive exercise.
“They checked us out and over a period of time have agreed to let us get on with things."
Work is underway and the fruits of the King St labour will be revealed next year. Williams is remaining tight-lipped about what the campaign will entail and wouldn’t divulge if the “glory day” reference could see the return of pointy nosed mascot Willie the waiter, a character used to promote the beer when it launched all those years back in 1945.
“It’s beer, it’s Waikato Draught, it’s Lion, we are stoked. What more can I say.”
Lion Breweries marketing manager of mainstream beer, Jonte Goldwater, is adamant there’s a lot of life left in the Waikato Draught brand and the aim is to build on its heritage as well as maximise new opportunities.
“Waikato Draught has been a huge part of the region; its values align well with the Waikato culture so its time to reaffirm this.”
“Suffice to say the Waikato is a unique region built from heartland roots and Waikato Draught has been inextricably linked to this over the years; equally, the heartland roots are a big part of our future so we feel we need to be very proud of this.”
Lion's suite of beer brands is currently split across agencies. DDB looks after the likes of Lion Red, Steinlager, Corona, Budweiser and Stella, while Shine's portfolio includes Speight's, Becks, Mac's and the Mac's Brewbars. Josh & Jamie won the Waikato Draught account off Publicis Mojo shortly before being acquired by Assignment Group in 2010.