Conflict named Moosehead’s creative AOR

The Toronto agency's first work on the brewer's core portfolio is expected to debut this spring.

Moosehead, Canada’s largest independent brewery, has picked Toronto independent agency Conflict as its new creative AOR.

Selected after a competitive RFP, Conflict will work on the brewer’s core portfolio, which includes Moosehead Lager, Moosehead Radler, Cracked Canoe and James Ready.

“We were instantly impressed by Conflict’s unique approach to brand storytelling, their thoughtful strategic process and their deep understanding of our brand,” explains Trevor Grant, Moosehead’s VP of sales and marketing.

Founded in 1867, Moosehead has been led by five generations of the Oland family, including current brewery president, Andrew Oland, and is the oldest independently operating and largest privately-owned brewery in Canada.

“The storytelling possibilities with a brand like Moosehead are absolutely incredible,” says Jason Last, partner and strategy director at Conflict, who tells strategy that the goal is for this to be a long-term relationship and that there’s no fixed term.

“The main focus of the mandate will be for Conflict to create more consumer pull for Moosehead’s core brands,” Last explains. “We’ll be looking to evolve the story for Moosehead overall and to bring each of its brands to life in a way that creates more brand engagement and that ultimately drives more interest and loyalty over time.”

Moosehead’s previous creative agency was Toronto’s King Ursa, while Arrivals + Departures is continuing with its mandate on Moosehead’s partner brands (through an agreement with The Boston Brewing Company, Moosehead handles Canadian marketing and distribution for Truly Hard Seltzer, Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard).

Conflict’s work on the new mandate is already underway, with the first creative campaign expected to launch this spring. The agency has also hired the senior creative team of Leonardo Gonzalez and Charles Likely from Anomaly, as well as project director Angelica Bennett from John St., to support the Moosehead work.

Conflict currently counts Longo’s, SiriusXM, Source For Sports and Sunwing Travel Group among its other clients.

“Moosehead will be a significant account for the agency,” Last says, adding that it will continue to hire as a result of this new partnership, as well as expanded mandates with several other clients. “Currently, we’re growing our creative and design teams in particular,” Last says.

Conflict will work closely with Moosehead’s other agency partners, including Craft Public Relations (PR), Media Experts (media) and Art & Mechanical (packaging and design).