George the Bear, the Hofmeister beer mascot who famously advised viewers “For great lager, follow the bear”, in a series of memorable ads created by BMP DDB, is set to appear in his first campaign since the original brand was canned in 2003.
Hofmeister, which was relaunched in 2016 as an authentic, Bavarian-brewed Helles lager, has appointed MBAstack after a competitive pitch to produce a creative film and digital content to promote a crowdfunding campaign.
MBAstack, which was created in March when MSQ acquired MBA and merged it with its existing customer acquisition and engagement shop, Stack, will serve as the lead agency and work closely with fellow MSQ agencies The Gate and Smarts, and strategic production partner Brave Spark.
Spencer Chambers, chief executive of Hofmeister brewing company, which launched the new product after acquiring the dormant brand from former owner Hofmeister, said: “We loved the ideas the team brought to the table during the pitch and we’re so excited to see George being resurrected once again, new and improved for 2021.
“We have great confidence that the campaign will drive the brand awareness and investment we’re looking to achieve.”
Despite winning acclaim, including an award for best lager of 2017 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, the new Hofmeister is yet to achieve widespread distribution or a significant market share.
Shortly after launch, the business appointed former Coca-Cola marketing director Zoe Howorth as marketing director and former Britvic marketing director Andrew Marsden as chairman, although both have since left. Last year however it brought in two new investors, including former Greene King MD Euan Venters.
Nicola Nimmo, managing director at MBAstack, said: “We can’t wait to get started on the work for Hofmeister. We’re proud to be working with such an established and well-respected beer brand, and we’re looking forward to bringing the creative ideas to life.”
The original Hofmeister, a low-alcohol lager created for British palettes, fell out of favour in the 1990s as brands such as Stella Artois became more popular, and was eventually pulled from the market by owner Scottish Courage, now part of Heineken.
George the Bear was created in 1983 by BMP executive creative director John Webster, who also contributed the Smash Martians and the Honey Monster to national culture. In 2018, Campaign named BMP, along with its successor agencies BMP DDB and Adam & Eve/DDB, the best UK agency of the last 50 years.