The Hive wins Peroni, Grolsch

The agency is now AOR for Asahi Canada's key brands, with more likely to enter the fold later this year.

Toronto-based agency The Hive has been named national agency of record for Asahi Canada, including key beer brands Peroni and Grolsch it acquired from Anheuser-Busch InBev last year.

The Hive won the business following a competitive review in the last quarter of 2016, involving “about six” agencies, according to Grant Caton, Asahi Canada’s general manager. Vancouver’s Me&Lewis previously handled work for Italian lager Peroni and 402-year-old Dutch brand Grolsch, until the sale of some of the SABMiller portfolio through its acquisition by AB InBev last year made the change in agency necessary.

The Hive will now lead strategic planning and brand advertising, event marketing and promotional activities for the alcohol company in Canada. Asahi also works with PHD on media and GMR Marketing on sampling and experiential activity.

Along with Peroni and Grolsch, The Hive will also represent any new brands that come into the Asahi Canada fold, as Tokyo-based parent Asahi Group Holdings has agreed to buy a group of European beer brands from AB InBev, including Pilsner Urquell, Lech, Tyskie and Kozel. That deal is expected to close in the first half of 2017.

Asahi Super Dry is not included in The Hive’s mandate, as it’s distributed here through foodservice company Ozawa Canada.

New work from The Hive will debut in early summer. Its mandate includes continuing key partnerships, including Grolsch’s sponsorship of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Peroni’s sponsorship of the Rogers Cup.

The Hive will also be tasked with bolstering the brands’ digital and social media presence, a space they’re not playing in much today, Caton says. Both Peroni and Grolsch have sustained growth in Canada over the past five years, and this new partnership aims to build on that further, he says.

The agency’s pedigree working with alcohol brands, including Brown-Forman Canada, Jack Daniels and Corona, and its understanding of the changing category made it the right fit for Asahi, Caton adds.

Featured image via Shutterstock