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Lion Nathan appoints FCB NZ to Stella account


Lion Nathan appoints FCB New Zealand to flagship Stella Artois account, reuniting beer brand ‘dream team’

FCB’s strong creative skills and unique cultural insights critical in securing premium label

AUCKLAND, 04 August 2005 – Lion Nathan has appointed advertising agency FCB New Zealand to its premium brand account, Stella Artois, following a flurry of other business wins for the agency across a range of sectors including retail, government and now, for the first time, beer.

Lion Nathan’s Premium Brands Director, Christoph Drefers, said that “Lion is committed to the continued expansion of the premium beer market in New Zealand. Stella Artois’ exceptional performance in that segment will continue to be critical to the company’s success in the market, so we need an advertising agency that knows how New Zealanders connect with brands.”

“With its ‘Mind and Mood’ department, FCB is the agency best placed to identify the cultural background behind the decisions Kiwis make when interacting with brands.” In particular, Mr Drefers was impressed by FCB’s unique semiotic analytical methodology, as demonstrated earlier this year by the ground breaking ‘Legends and Tensions’ study.

The first use of semiotics by a New Zealand advertising agency in a research project, ‘Legends and Tensions’ dissected contemporary advertising on both sides of the Tasman to identify the differences in the respective national psyches.

Mr Drefers added that FCB has also pulled together one of the best beer brand teams in the country. “The combined experience of Nick Baylis, James Mok, Justin Mowday, Jacqueline Smart and Oliver Maisey is an exciting addition to our communication armoury. We simply wanted to work with them,” he said.

According to FCB New Zealand CEO, Nick Baylis, beer brands provide the creative battlegrounds for advertising agencies. “Many of the best ads in this country have been beer ads. So it’s very encouraging that we are not only winning new business in sectors such as retail and government but in the demanding creative hotbed of beer brands. We’re delighted that Lion Nathan has recognised FCB’s strong creative capability.”

Mr Baylis said that “Stella Artois is a global brand with well established but fundamentally European positioning. Our challenge is to capitalise on that positioning but localise the message to connect with the target audience, making Stella Artois a compelling and meaningful brand for New Zealanders today.”

Notes to Editors

About the FCB beer brand ‘dream team’

Nick Baylis has overseen advertising for brands from three major breweries in New Zealand and Australia in a career spanning twenty years. These include Lion Nathan, DB Breweries and Carlton & United Beverages. While at Saatchi’s in the mid nineties, Nick Baylis was the Account Director heading the Lion account, producing iconic campaigns for Lion Red, Waikato Draught and Steinlager. At Generator, he was seconded by Heineken to drive its Asia Pacific marketing strategy and activity around its Rugby World Cup sponsorship.

In the last eight months Nick Baylis has added to FCB’s strategic and creative capabilities with key appointments of other experienced beer brand specialists. These include James Mok, who was one of the lead creatives during Lion Red’s halcyon days and went on to become a co-founder of Generator advertising agency in 1995 along with Baylis.

In addition, Oliver Maisey, FCB’s new Creative Director, and Justin Mowday, the Group Account Director, have worked with Baylis on major beer brand campaigns. While at Generator in the late nineties, Justin Mowday ran the Monteith’s and DB Draught accounts, most noticeably contributing towards the reversal of a ten year decline in the DB Draught brand.

About Stella Artois

First brewed in Belgium in 1366, today Stella Artois is the premium lager of Europe. In New Zealand, Lion Nathan has brewed Stella Artois under licence since 1992, though the yeast is still supplied from Stella’s home brewery in Leuven, Belgium, to ensure international consistency in the lager’s distinctive and recognisable taste of Pilsner malt and the crisp finish of Saaz hops.


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