In the mid 90s, entrepreneur Anthony von Mandl engaged our expertise to develop a new ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage product for his company, The Mark Anthony Group.
Our task: create not just a new brand, but an entirely new beverage category. And that’s exactly what we did.
Yes… We Really Did Name and Create the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Concept!
After exploring ready-to-drink products, we conceived the “hard lemonade” concept and named the brand Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
In research, Mike’s was an instant hit. We knew then that we had a very big winner.
The World’s First Spirit Cooler
We designed the packaging, invented the legendary story of Mike and created the tag line “An Excellent Source of Vodka.”
Under our helm, we created the retail launch collateral, line extensions and promotional materials for Mike’s debut and its first three years in the market.
Mike’s would later be dubbed by the Mark Anthony Group as “the world’s first spirit cooler.”
Explosive and Enduring Success
Mike’s exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations, becoming an immediate run-away phenomenon that was quickly launched in the US and Europe.
Its success funded a $40+ million internationally-acclaimed winery for Mission Hill in BC’s Okanagan Valley, laid the foundation for an impressive family legacy and ignited interest and growth in alcoholic refreshment beverages worldwide.
The Mark Anthony Group sold its Canadian ready-to-drink (RTD) brands, including the Canadian division of Mike’s to Labatt Brewing Company for US$350 million.
An American Icon
The Mark Anthony Group retained full ownership of Mike’s in the United States, where sales of its RTD products is five times larger than in Canada.
By 2017, Mike’s was considered the fastest growing “beer” (malt-based beverage) company in the US, according to the Chicago-based research firm IRI.
Many people don’t realize that Mike’s, which has become an American beverage icon, was created here in VancouverAnthony von Mandl at a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade