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How Blue Moon Found a Heavenly Way to Shine in a Crowded Category


IDEA: Blue Moon's beers are works of art, so its ads must be, too. That was the accord struck by the MillerCoors brand and The Integer Group in 2009 when the Lakewood, Colo., agency began an artful approach to the brewer's advertising, which would become instantly recognizable—a welcome dash of color and craft amid the beery bro hugs of the category.

"Everything we do reflects our philosophy of 'Artfully crafted,' and our TV campaign truly brings that to life," said Jovina Young, Blue Moon brand manager. Indeed, it embodies it. Five spots in all, including a new one, "Brewmaster's Inspiration," have the same unique style of live action, shot in stop motion, that begins to look like a painting, thanks to a mix of practical and CGI effects—celebrating the brewmasters as artists.

The new ad shows a brewmaster flipping through a scrapbook of ideas, as the brand's flagship Belgian White and four other collections spring up from the pages. "Without even seeing the words Blue Moon or our logo, consumers recognize these ads as ours," Young said. "They work very hard for us."

COPYWRITING: There is no dialogue, so the scripting is mostly about finding a framework for the message. In this case, it meant highlighting five groups of beer in just 30 seconds. The creatives drew inspiration from Blue Moon founder Keith Villa, who keeps notebooks of ideas.

"He's got great ideas from last week and from years ago," said Integer senior art director Tom Reynolds. "We thought that could be a nice motif—what if our brewmaster is looking through his idea book that is magically giving birth to all these new beers that we have now?"

The on-screen line "Inspired collections" is followed by the line "Artfully crafted."

ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Each page that's flipped over reveals a new canvas of sketches, from which spring-glowing bottles nestled in various scenes capture the essence of Blue Moon's beers—the Belgian White (a forest with an elk and a luminous moon), the Seasonal Collection (grass, leaves, pumpkins, snow), the Expressionist Collection (a farm, a trove of ingredients), the Vintage Ale Collection (a vineyard) and the Graffiti Collection (a tagged brick wall).

It's all warm light and bright colors. "We're super proud of the look," said Integer creative director Dustin Bredice. "It's great to see these paintings come to life in different styles, and throw in fun little animations, like the elk or the hummingbird."

Shaun Sewter of MOO Studios filmed in painstaking stop motion—an art in itself. "It's not just the look of the paint coming to life but the camera work as well," said Bredice. "Stop motion just gives us more artistic credibility," added Integer copywriter Sam Zeanah.

TALENT: Villa and brewmaster John Legnard appear at the end of the spot, raising glasses in the background before becoming painted sketches themselves. "We wanted to show that there is someone behind the beer," said Bredice. "We're not expecting folks to know it's Keith or John, but we wanted them involved."

Having them pose for shot after shot of stop motion was "a little painful for them, but they were good sports," said Reynolds.

SOUND: The agency scored a major coup for the "Brewmaster's Touch" spot a year ago by licensing "Ho Hey" by Denver rock band the Lumineers just before it became the song of that summer. The track in the new spot is by another local band, South of France. "Once we heard their stuff, we just fell in love with it," said Zeanah.

MEDIA: The media buy is a mix of broad cable entertainment and some sports, along with cinema and digital. The target is people who are "just starting on their craft journey," said Young.


Client: Blue Moon Brewing Company
Spot: "Brewmaster's Inspiration"
Senior Marketing Director: Libby Mura
Brand Manager: Jovina Young
Agency: The Integer Group, Lakewood, Colo.
Group Creative Director: Dan Kiefer
Creative Director: Dustin Bredice
Senior Art Director: Tom Reynolds
Copywriter: Sam Zeenah
Producer: Aimee Woodard
Group Account Director: Greg Neale
Account Supivisor: Krista Johnson
Account Executive: Carrie Solberg
Project Manager: Cameron Loomis
Production: Moo Studios, Los Angeles
Director: Shaun Sueter
Executive Producer: David Lyons
Line Producer: Soundis Azaiz
VFX Super: Sebastiano D'Aprile
Color Correction: Clark Muller, Incendio, Venice, Calif.
Audio Mix: Coupe Studios - Boulder, CO
Engineers: Greg McRae, Aaron Lasko, Jeff Cormak
Producers: Scott Roche, Eric Singer
Music: South of France, "Ghost Driver"

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