Anheuser-Busch Gets Ovation for Catalogs

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Anheuser-Busch Inc. has named Ovation Marketing Inc., La Crosse, WI, as its agency of record for a consumer and wholesaler catalog marketing program following a nine-month review process that included pitches from four agencies.

GSP, Chicago, which participated in the review, was the incumbent. The other agencies involved in the pitch were One to One Marketing, Chicago, and Quadras, Atlanta.

Ovation transformed its office into a pub during the pitch to capture the essence of the target audience. The budget was not disclosed.

Twenty-two years old and employee-owned, Ovation has clients such as Sargento Foods, The J.M. Smucker Co., State Farm Insurance Co., Betty Crocker Enterprises, United Building Centers and Hickory Farms. Billings last year totaled $35 million.

The agency will work on six catalogs -- three consumer books and three wholesaler catalogs -- each year for Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis. The first catalog mails at the end of December.

Responsibilities on the account include creative execution, photography, production, and input on marketing and mailing strategies for better targeting of different customer segments.

The effort includes work on consumer catalogs for brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, O'Doul's and Michelob. Products offered in the books include apparel and collectibles such as beer mugs.

For the wholesaler catalogs, Ovation will look to demonstrate how the company's wholesale customers can sell more merchandise through local events tied to Anheuser-Busch's national sponsorships.

The wholesaler catalogs include most of the items in the consumer books as well as goods that help wholesalers' efforts with retailers and tavern owners such as display blow-ups and T-shirt give aways.

"One of the things we want to do is to make the catalog program look more like the Anheuser-Busch brands," said Kim Larson, vice president of client services at Ovation.

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