Peroni aims to regain youthful style credentials after appointing Leagas Delaney

Peroni: agency shake-up follows change of ownership
Peroni: agency shake-up follows change of ownership

Asahi Group has appointed Leagas Delaney to the global creative account for its Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzuro, after a competitive pitch process that began this summer.

Leagas Delaney was victorious after a shoot-out against Droga5 and Bartle Bogle Hegarty in a pitch process led by Stuart Pocock from The Observatory International.

The account, overseen by Peroni's global marketing team, was previously handled by The Bank, which closed earlier this year.

Droga5, meanwhile, has been awarded the global creative account for the Japanese brewer's namesake brand, Asahi Super Dry, in a separate competitive pitch.

Confusingly, Droga5 was also appointed to the Peroni UK advertising account, as well as global work related to the events and content strand House of Peroni, in August. This account was previously held by M&C Saatchi.

Peroni was acquired by Asahi Group, Japan’s largest brewer, last year, in a sale to satisfy competition authorities after its previous owner SABMiller was acquired by AB InBev.

Peroni / Leagas Delaney

Leagas Delaney will produce work to run in the UK, China, Japan and the US at an as-yet undetermined point in 2018. It will be digitally and socially led and may include TV, though this is unconfirmed.

Fergus Hay, chief executive of Leagas Delaney, told Campaign the priority for the brand was to reconnect with consumers under 34 by bolstering its association with everything that’s cool.

Over the last decade, Hay said, Peroni had done a strong job in the UK of establishing itself as a "style brand", but that it had to some extent "lost the younger consumer who got distracted by craft beer – really individual beers that had a story to them".

He acknowledged that craft beer was setting the terms of the market for many young beer drinkers, but said that rather than trying to compete on its craft credentials or ingredients, Peroni would transcend that discussion – positioning itself as a brand that has nothing to prove.

"You can talk about your hops and where you’ve been made," he said, in reference to the likes of Brewdog.

"But if you’re a real stylish fashionista, someone who really understands what’s cool, you need to come to Peroni, because we’ve really got our fingers on the pulse."

Hay said the claim to be a style icon would lack credibility if the brand was not actively contributing to the cultural conversation. "The main thing we decided is you can’t be a brand that just reflects style – you need to be a brand that curates and commissions it," he said.

"We’re going to be a brand that generates stylish things. That's what a brand with real confidence and authority does."

This would involve collaborating with curators and influencers across the world in a number of fields, he added, potentially including fashion, music, art and poetry.

Gisela Rule, global brands portoflio director, Asahi Europe, said: "We were looking for a strategic and creative partner who understood what’s true about our brand and could connect with the younger global consumer on an emotional level and in the communications channels that our target consumer lives in.

"Leagas Delaney demonstrated this throughout the process and we believe that we have the partner for our long term global growth."

Asahi Super Dry / Droga5

Droga5 has been appointed to run a £1.5m campaign for Asahi Super Dry, focused on key markets including the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The campaign will highlight Asahi's Japanese heritage, with key channels being outdoor, social, online and experiential.

Daniel Grass, global brand director for Asahi Super Dry said: "We are very excited about the engagement of Droga5 on this project. Asahi Super Dry is an amazing brand and it’s a very exciting time to work on the global expansion."

Bill Scott, chief executive at Droga5, said: "Asahi Super Dry is the number 1 beer in Japan with a rich heritage. To get to shine a light on this story and bring meaning to it in culture, is a superlative brief."

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