Creative agency Preacher tapped for Saint Archer Gold launch

For the rollout of its new craft light lager next year, MillerCoors has hired the agency Preacher to handle the creative campaign for Saint Archer Gold.

The 4.2 percent alcohol-by-volume Helles-inspired lager, which checks in at 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving, is set to debut in four test markets in March.

Preacher is a nearly five-year-old Austin, Texas-based agency founded by three veterans of the New York agency scene who most recently worked at Mother. Its client roster includes powerhouse brands such as ESPN, Crate & Barrel, The Container Store and select Beam Suntory brands. Preacher also has developed campaigns for Tommy John, Squarespace, Nike, Casper and Bumble.

The agency will lead development of an advertising and marketing campaign for Saint Archer Gold that will include television, outdoor, digital and social elements, says Paul Verdu, vice president of sales and marketing for Tenth and Blake, the craft and import division of MillerCoors.

“We’re adding an A-list ad agency to the team that has a shared vision and a shared goal for the brand,” Verdu says. “They’ve already come back to us with really strong work that delivers on our two primary messages: that this is a crisp and refreshing beer with low carbs and calories, and baked in its DNA is the California lifestyle that Saint Archer is known for.”

Preacher worked previously with Granbury, Texas-based Revolver Brewing, a fellow MillerCoors craft brand under the Tenth and Blake banner. One of the agency’s co-founders, Rob Baird, also worked with Verdu just more than a decade ago on a successful campaign for Miller Brewing Company.

Preacher co-founder and CEO Krystle Loyland says the agency sets out “to work with brands we truly believe in, brands built with the consumer in mind.” Saint Archer and Preacher, she says, share a “likemindedness and appreciation for craft.”

Along with the agency’s work for Jim Beam brands Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s, its founders have worked on several beer and spirits brands at former agencies. “We know enough about the playbook to be able to bend and break some of the rules, and not be a slave to it,” Loyland says.

Her goal for the campaign is to retain the Saint Archer DNA and honor its roots while giving the brand a new ambition to see how big it can grow. “This is a brand that will attract the kind of folks who honestly have been waiting for a craft beer and a brand like this in the low-calorie, low-carb space.”

Aimed at active, health-conscious 25- to 44-year-old men and women, Saint Archer Gold will be brewed in the tradition of a Helles lager using noble hops. It’s golden in color, light-bodied and finishes dry. The beer is crisp and easy drinking, but with a slightly stronger flavor profile than competitors in the ultra-light segment, such as Michelob Ultra Light and Corona Premier. Its calorie and carb profile, meanwhile, falls in line with those beers as well as select American light lagers such as Miller Lite.

It is slated to debut in four markets: Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; and Arizona. In three of those markets — Austin, Indianapolis and Charlotte — Gold will mark Saint Archer’s debut. The beer will join others in the Saint Archer portfolio in Arizona, a state where the brand has been sold since late 2016. If successful in those markets, the plan is to expand nationally, perhaps as early as 2020.

The beer also will be made and served in Saint Archer’s taprooms in San Diego and Leucadia, Calif.

Los Angeles-based agency Colony, which has worked with Saint Archer since the brewery’s inception, will continue to lead Saint Archer Gold’s design and packaging work.