Clems win VB, Crown Lager and Cascade from Droga 5

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has been handed some of Australia’s biggest beer brands in a consolidation which sees CUB transfer VB, Crown Lager and Cascade from Droga5.

VB ad The Regulars was the first major campaign to come from Droga 5 when it launched three years ago.

Clems already handles Carlton Draught, Carlton Dry, Pure Blonde, Strongbow and Bulmers for CUB. Among the most celebrated recent ads for Carlton Draught was Clems’ Slo Mo.

CUB Marketing Director Andy Gibson said: “We will always do what’s best for our brands. Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is an outstanding agency that has continued to deliver world class work for us over many years. In my view, they are not only the best in Australia, they are one of the best in the world.”

The move marks a change of strategy for CUB”s marketing. Previously the company has preferred to run a roster of agencies.CUB said: “The choice was made to solidify one, long-term strategic partnership to drive greater insight and benefit to the business, with the review considering creative ability and strength of work over the long term.”

Gibson said: “This move recognises the value we see in Clemenger’s team and their connection to our people, brands and ultimately our consumers. Droga5 has produced great work for CUB, particularly for Australia’s favourite beer VB. Their efforts have been greatly received by beer drinkers and on behalf of CUB I would like to thank them for their work.”

David Nobay, creative chairman of Droga 5, said in a statement: “Four years ago, we built our business out of a garage with three partners and a labrador, to what it is today, thanks greatly to our thinking and work for VB, so clearly this decision is a painful one for us. That said, we’re grown-ups and have great respect for CUB as an organisation, and continue to have great love for VB as a brand. So, I genuinely wish them the best.”



  1. wow
    27 Feb 12
    10:37 am

  2. Wow, is that big news? or do I just think it is big news?

  3. Mo
    27 Feb 12
    11:27 am

  4. I feel sorry for any agency working with a loved but bogan brand like VB. How much scope do you really have for reinvention? How much scope does a client really give you? Carlton Draught isn’t much different and ‘slo-mo’ is the same solution as VB real – its all about your mates! When you’re dealing with something new and sexy like cider or a beer called Pure Blonde the creative opportunities are so much greater – mainly from a client’s ability to think bigger. If this is how the decision has been made then its not really a fair playing field. Clems and D5 are both great agencies.

  5. Ben
    27 Feb 12
    11:38 am

  6. Thank god, fingers crossed the desecration of the wonderful VB brand can end.

    And so too that horrible work for Crownie.

  7. me
    27 Feb 12
    12:26 pm

  8. I remember when Droga5 first won the VB account.
    Cartoon characters of Shane Warne were in every bottle shop and they had a sponsorship of the “Bring Back The Biff” NRL player guy.
    The reward for effort proposition had been dropped and sales were in massive decline.

    When they won the other two, Crown Lager was in an even worse state. They talk about it as being the best liquid they can make but they also paired it up with the worst comms and maybe a golf sponsorship here or there and it found itself relegated to weddings and if they were lucky, some blokes 50th birthday.

    Cascade is perhaps the biggest shame. The product is even named after the water yet they let that slide and we all know what happened with Boags – they grabbed the ball and ran.

    So before anyone starts throwing rocks, I think it’s worth noting that Droga5 got given the three biggest basket cases in Fosters history. Obviously I’m excluding Fosters itself, they did a pretty good job of killing that brand too.

    The marketing department needs an overhaul. Good luck to Clems on these as well. They are not easy brands to breathe life back into.

  9. Alison_F
    27 Feb 12
    12:55 pm

  10. I’m impressed with David Nobay’s comment regarding the loss of the business. I am always far more interested to hear how leaders deal with their disappointments rather than successes and I think this statement seems quite honest and genuine.
    Droga 5 will bounce back from this twice as hard, I am sure.

  11. JayZ
    27 Feb 12
    12:59 pm

  12. I loved “the regulars” spot it made me laugh every time I saw it.
    And if the brand has been “desecrated” it would show in sales – which it hasn’t.
    Good luck to Clems, they have a hard act to follow.

  13. scott
    27 Feb 12
    1:07 pm

  14. Clems are basically the ex Patts team right?
    Well I hope the just bring back Boonie and the old theme song

  15. George
    27 Feb 12
    3:16 pm

  16. RE: me.
    A bit harsh perhaps? Pretty sure VB is the highest selling beer in the country and its consumers have a deep loyalty to the product. Far from a basket case. The marketing clearly appeals to someone.

  17. Jeepers
    27 Feb 12
    3:28 pm

  18. Lets face it, their most famous VB work was basically Jeremy Deller’s parade…first done around 2008 then again in 2009

    I wonder if they credited him.

  19. Bob
    27 Feb 12
    4:05 pm

  20. D5 never really got VB or beer as a category so this is no suprise, however it was a shame ‘the regulars’ ad was pulled so soon as it was extremely campaignable, even if it didn’t slow the decline in sales at all.

  21. me
    27 Feb 12
    4:18 pm

  22. Hey George.

    I do think basket case is the right summation. After all, they were selling nearly 60 million cases a year at one point. I don’t know what they sell now exactly but it will be somewhere around thirty.

    Unless they get their sub brands to work, which history has proved they don’t, then the VB brand will continue to face decline and then ultimately not be the number 1 beer brand in the country. That will go to XXXX, who I think are doing a pretty good job. Especially with their Australian version of Corona, Summer Bright.

    Obviously this is only my opinion of course.

  23. the grey ghost
    27 Feb 12
    10:07 pm

  24. I guess that means Nobby will be after a Tooheys or two

  25. Gezza
    28 Feb 12
    11:24 am

  26. Wahatever about the sales, the branding, these ads were gold. Simple as that.

  27. Mark
    28 Feb 12
    1:32 pm

  28. I agree Gezza.

    There in lays the problem. These brands are still massive, but will struggle to see increased sales in overall litres year on year. The products just aren’t that good and the number of microbrewies has more than doubled in the last 2 years. Not to mention blokes can now drink cider without fear of looking like a sissy.

    Where does that leave the agencies if you’re only being judged on sales results. These brands will remain huge, I’m not suggesting otherwise, but it’s a challenge for agencies to explain the value of the work as share gets wittled away? Unfortunately advertising can’t solve everything…