Bud Light owner InBev is continuing to ring the changes on its key brand, moving the Canadian account to Anomaly’s new Toronto office a few weeks after dumping Mcgarrybowen in the US after just eight months in favour of roster agency Translation.
Anomaly, which sold a majority stake to marcoms group MDC Partners a year or so ago, has handled Bud Light’s big brother Budweiser in the US for two years. The agency, headed by former Simons Palmer partner Carl Johnson, must fancy its chances of winning Bud Light in its biggest market (Canada is second).
The choice of Anomaly, a avowedly ‘alternative’ agency, is interesting because the reason for Mcgarrybowen’s loss was its failure to get any ads through InBev’s supposedly rigorous process of pre-testing. This was all rather peculiar as Mcgarrybowen, owned by Dentsu, is renowned as a ‘safe pair of hands,’ which should make it rather adept at dealing with the hurdles of focus groups and the like.
InBev seems to be following in the footsteps of Kraft in the US, turning to smaller indie creative agencies to try to sprinkle some magic on its big, arguably commodity brands. Bud Light in Canada moves from an agency called Grip and WPP’s Canada-based creative hotshop Taxi is also reported to have pitched.
WPP, though, recently won big rival Coors in the US for which it has set up a bespoke ‘Team Coors’ agency in Chicago called Cavalry.