DDB snaps up Steinlager project but Publicis Mojo still the main staple

It’s no secret that Lion Nathan has been perusing the agency field for someone to give its Steinlager brand a bit of fresh lovin’. And now the winning agency has been revealed as DDB. But Scott Wallace, group business director at DDB, wants to make it clear the agency will only be working on one project for Steinlager this year.

“We’re just looking at one project at 2011. That’s essentially how it was briefed and that’s the brief we answered,” says Wallace.

But while the news is good for DDB, there’s no need for  Publicis Mojo to lick its wounds. Lion’s premium beer marketing manager Todd Gordon says Mojo will remain as the lead agency for the hugely popular Steinlager Pure.

The agency review comes as part of Lion Nathan’s intentional strategy to make use of different agencies. In deciding on the winning agency, Lion Nathan consulted only with agencies already on its existing roster and Gordon says it was DDB who did a great job .

“As a long-term supporter of the All Blacks, clearly this year is extremely important for the brand. DDB pitched an idea that is not only clever and relevant to the public, but will also speak to the long history that Steinlager has with New Zealand rugby,” says Gordon.

Wallace wouldn’t reveal details of the project, but said as part of the pitch, the agency put forward a number of different options and approaches in loose conceptual form.

“We sat with the Lion team and asked them which ideas were heading in the right direcitons and which weren’t. They helped us refine which of those we should progress with for the final, formal presentation.”

While DDB is now charged with all above the line communications, there are no agency changes for media (Zenith-Optimedia), digital (Shift), PR (the pr shop) and BTL (Proud) work.

And much like an expanding beer belly, DDB’s win further expands its existing Lion Nathan product portfolio. Five years ago the agency won the business for Corona and early last year added Budweiser and Stella Artois to its stash. Mid-way through the same year it put forward a pitch for the Lion Red business and won, and the first major push to come from that win, the Lion Red man points campaign, made its debut in February this year.

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