Letters From Stan

We Need a Beer

Stan Richards

Dear David,

We’re often asked if there’s an industry we’d love to be in. So, given recent developments on the client front, this is an opportune time to answer that question should you find yourself leading a review in this category.


We need a beer. While that’s an end-of-the-day lament spoken by many in our business as a short-term solution to stress and overload, we see it as a long-term pursuit of a particular passion of ours.

For more than 20 years, we’ve been in the beer business. From super-regional domestic brands (Henry Weinhard’s, Rainier, Lone Star) to urban domestic brands (Colt 45) to nationally distributed brands (Corona, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Amstel Light), we’ve prompted beer drinkers to raise a hand and say, “Pour me an Amstel,” or, “Make mine a Corona.”

On our watch, Corona supplanted Heineken as the number one beer import (a position Heineken had held since the end of Prohibition). We simply set the beer apart from all the usual beer conventions through a brand promise that transported you from the stress of every day to a laid-back Caribbean beach with the pop of the top. On behalf of Corona, we won a gold Effie for sustained success, a silver Effie for best TV campaign, a bronze Effie for the launch of Corona Light, and Adweek Best Spots awards for four consecutive years.

When Heineken hired us to help them rebuild Amstel Light in 2007, we launched “One Dam Good Bier” – scoring a 50 on tagline recall vs. the category norm of 13. The client credits the campaign with a 3 percent lift in sales during the first year, and our campaign in 2011 resulted in jumps of 14 percent in awareness and 12 percent in brand preference.

Nonetheless, through the usual turmoil and turnover that you know all too well, we find ourselves on the dry end of the tap. And that takes us back to the oft-asked question: Is there an industry that we’d love to be in should you find yourself leading a review in that category?

Yes. We’d love to find a beer client who raises a hand and says, “Make mine The Richards Group.” When that happens, the next round’s on us.