Sometimes, classics need to be born again in order to stay classic. That was the case for Stag Beer, a more than 165-year-old regional favorite of hunters and hipsters alike. Despite Stag’s devoted cult following, its owner Pabst Brewing Company saw sales slowly decline as their core audience aged. Recognizing the potential for a vibrant brand revitalization on both sides of the Mississippi River, they looked to us for a fresh perspective to turn the tides… er, current.
Our creative approach was simple: Take what people love about Stag and give younger drinkers even more to adore. To us, Stag is a Midwestern drinker’s dark horse, a gold-canned David to Budweiser’s Goliath. Its very existence in a market defined by macrobrewery influence is bold, so we chose to seize what truly sets them apart from the competition.
Boldness is so essential to Stag Beer that it should be included in the ingredients list between malted barley and hops.
With that in mind, we developed a new creative position that will serve the Stag brand well for the next 165 years and beyond: FREE TO BE BOLD.
In the design phase, our team subtly but courageously reconsidered what Stag could stand for while staying true to the colors, mascot, and history that has defined the brand since its birth in Belleville, IL. We didn’t do what will make us popular with all of Stag’s current drinkers; we did what’s best for the next generation of beer drinkers ready to tell silver cans to go straight to hell.
Since our rebranding exercise, Stag has reasserted itself in Missouri and Illinois as the coolest uncool beer that a few crumpled bills can buy.
The release of Stag Bold (higher ABV) and Stag Session (lower ABV) also expanded their footprint and diversified what it means to be a deer beer drinker.
By embracing boldness and individuality, Stag reignited their following’s passion for their product while welcoming a whole new generation into the cult. “Free To Be Bold” continues to steer their entire brand strategy in new and existing markets, and we couldn’t be more proud.