Pabst Blue Ribbon Names 72andSunny Los Angeles Lead Creative Agency

Its first campaign for the hipster darling brewer will run this spring

Pabst Blue Ribbon is sending its beer business to 72andSunny LA, but not its seltzer or hard coffee. Pabst Blue Ribbon
Headshot of Minda Smiley

It might have lost Coors Light last year, but 72andSunny Los Angeles will be churning out beer ads once again very soon.
The agency has been given lead creative duties for Pabst Blue Ribbon, the lager that’s been a hipster favorite since the early aughts. It’s an interesting move for a brand that typically shies away from traditional advertising, but as beer sales continue to decline, it’s possible that PBR is looking for an extra boost.
According to a 72andSunny spokesperson, the agency is currently handling Pabst Blue Ribbon’s beer business, but not its seltzer, whiskey or hard coffee offerings. Last summer, BBH New York released a campaign for the brand’s Stronger Seltzer—and was purportedly paid not with money, but a year’s supply of PBR beverages.
“As someone who has been a huge Pabst fan as both a marketer and a bar owner, I’m honored that 72andSunny was chosen to carry the creative torch for the next generation of their storied portfolio,” said Teri Miller, president of 72andSunny Los Angeles, in a statement. “Our shared ambition is to make work as iconic and special as the brand itself.”
The agency’s first work for the brand is set to break this spring.
Pabst Blue Ribbon spent $125,000 on measured media in the U.S. between January and September of last year, according to Kantar. This figure includes traditional advertising as well as money spent on display and paid search, but not social.
“Pabst Blue Ribbon has had many chapters in its 175 years, and we’re excited to write a new one with 72andSunny,” said Luke Atkinson, svp of marketing at Pabst Blue Ribbon, in a statement. “Pabst is launching many new, exciting products as we strive to bring the same creativity our audience possesses to the drinks category, and 72andSunny’s creative pedigree make them the ideal partner.”
While the brand historically hasn’t advertised nearly as much as the likes of Bud Light and Miller Lite, its surge at the turn of the century was far from happenstance. Atlanta-based agency Fizz, which specializes in word-of-mouth marketing, claims it helped the brand reverse years of declining sales by helping it garner favor with “edgy urban hipsters,” a strategy that involved providing beer, banners and support at events they were likely to attend (you can read the case study here).


@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.