A subsidiary of Japanese company Kirin, Lion (previously Lion Nathan National Foods) is now the smaller of Australia's two dominant brewers, but also the #1 marketer of branded dairy products and fruit juice. Its portfolio includes three of the country's top five beers - XXXX, Toohey's and Hahn Super Dry - as well as New Zealand's market-leading Steinlager and craft beers including James Squire and Little Creatures. Until late 2016, Lion was also the local licensee for Corona, Stella Artois and other ABInBev beers in both countries, but that arrangement ended following the larger group's acquisition of main rival Carlton United Brewers. As a result, Lion's Australian market share will slip from 48% to around 42% for 2017, compared to around 45% for CUB. (Lion still distributes Carlton's local brands in NZ, and now manages Heineken in Australia). A 13-year joint venture to distribute Bacardi's brands in Australia was also terminated in 2016, and Lion sold its wine division Fine Wine Partners, with brands including Petaluma and Wither Hills, to Accolade Wines later the same year. The company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese brewer Kirin at the end of 2009, and subsequently merged with Kirin's existing dairy subsidiary National Foods, which controls Pura milk and Berri fruit juice as well as the local license for Yoplait. Revenues for 2016 were A$4.5bn, of which A$2.7bn came from alcoholic beverages. Stuart Irvine is CEO. The group traces its history back to the first days of colonisation: its earliest subsidiary was established in New Zealand in 1840, and the Lion name was adopted in 1915 following a series of mergers of local brewers. The Nathan retail business was acquired later, and the enlarged group moved to Australia in the 1990s following the acquisition of local giant Bond Breweries and other regional companies. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 31st October 2017
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Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: Australian food and drink group Lion, a division of Kirin of Japan, announced a strategic review of its dairy and drinks division, whose products include branded milks Dairy Farmers and Pura, flavoured milk Dare, Berri juice and King Island cheese. It has always been an odd fit with what is otherwise Australia's second largest brewer, maker of XXXX, Toohey's and Hahn Super Dry among other brands. Investors are already speculating on a bid from local soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Amatil.
Adbrands Social Media 28th May 2018: Ogilvy's new marketing campaign for Australian beer Hahn is designed to start a conversation among drinkers over what makes the greatest 'pub anthem' of all time. Most of us up here in the Northern hemisphere, wait until we've had a few brews before we start bellowing 80s classics. The Aussies start singing before the first pint has even been poured... Future Hahn challenges will include - and this is not our joke, it's from the marketing handout - 'Who is the greatest ever action hero?' 'The fast bowler you'd least like to face?' (That's a cricket reference, in case any of our American readers were puzzled) and even ‘You’re a pro-wrestler. Your theme music is?’ We look forward to the accompanying ads...
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: Ads of the Week "The Dance". Remember that episode of Friends? The One with the Ballroom Dancing? Someone at DDB New Zealand certainly does and so will you after watching this lovely spot for Lion's local beer Speight's. That's no disparagement, by the way. Most people who grew up with that masterful TV series know that even now, more than a decade after it ended, life still manages to throw you a little echo of Friends most days of the week. To their great credit, DDB take that gag involving Joey and Treeger the janitor as their inspiration, but then pursue a different route entirely, with a wonderfully heart-warming conclusion that is all the agency's own. OK, now, who needs some help quitting their gym membership?
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Mar 2018: "Keep It Pure". A bit of cultural history. If you're a Brit of a certain age, you'll have fond memories of pirate stations like Radio Caroline, broadcasting from a trawler somewhere off the British coast from the early 1960s. It's hard to imagine now, but back then, pirates were the first stations to play a broad range of pop and rock music, in contrast to the BBC's strictly controlled old-fashioned broadcasts. What you probably don't know is that the same thing was happening on the other side of the world. In New Zealand, Radio Hauraki was Caroline's counterpart, and one of its team was the father of Zane Lowe, a local DJ before he found wider fame here in the UK, and more recently as one of the star anchors for Apple's Beats 1 service. All of which provides the background to DDB New Zealand's latest spot for another Kiwi hero, Steinlager. Who said you never learned anything from an ad...?
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th May 2016: Ads of the Week "Plant The Seed". You'll be searching BMF's extended spot for 5 Seeds cider, from Kirin's local brewery business Lion, for a clue as to how exactly it was done. Is that frozen motion or just a case of standing very very very still? Whichever is the case it's quite a feat, managing to look like both tricks at the same time. Dust and light is still moving but the people and objects are not. The results are strangely haunting, as well as oddly beautiful. That's my kind of party.
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