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News 31 Aug 2021 - 2 min read

Lion scraps village model, consolidates creative duties into Thinkerbell, major changes ahead

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

Thinkerbell has been on Lion’s agency roster for two years, most recently producing the ‘Unbelievable’ campaign for the Furphy brand.

Lion has scrapped its agency village model following a review, electing to consolidate all creative duties into Thinkerbell. The move marks the start of a shake-up of agency operations – and broader strategy – by new Consumer & Brand Director, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe.

What you need to know:

  • Lion has scrapped its agency roster approach, appointing Thinkerbell as its new lead creative agency.
  • The move is the first shake-up by newly appointed consumer and brand boss Anubha Sahasrabuddhe.
  • There's much more to come.

Lion has ditched its agency village model in favour of a sole creative agency going forward, handing duties to Thinkerbell as sole creative partner.

The decision follows a review process led by Trinity P3 under the direction of new Consumer & Brand Director Anubha Sahasrabuddhe, who took up the role in January this year. 

Agencies that previously sat on the roster included 72andSunny, Host/Havas and Ogilvy. The move reflects Lion’s transition to a new ‘Connections Model’.

Sahasrabuddhe has signalled a major creative shake-up across the portfolio, seeking to create sharper, more effective ads in a category that she thinks is far from reflective of Australian culture. She told Mi3 that the drinks giant is looking beyond beer - and is taking cues from the sharp, crisp creative coming out of New Zealand. 

Sahasrabuddhe also suggested that beer brands are missing out on a massive market in overlooking Australia's multicultural society and focusing, in her eyes, far too narrowly on traditional categories and marketing moments.

“We recognised that we needed to get closer to the consumer and building deeper relationships within a close group of strategic agency partners in each key discipline is an important part of that,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Thinkerbell has been on Lion’s agency roster for two years, most recently producing the ‘Unbelievable’ campaign for the Furphy brand.

Lion stated the pairing of the new model with Thinkerbell’s consumer understanding and creativity "will together drive a push to challenge some of the existing cultural norms around beer advertising." 

The brand is also working to establish in-house expertise across creative strategy, media, digital, partnerships and connections planning.

For a better idea of where Lion is headed, listen to a deep, refreshingly frank interview with Anubha Sahasrabuddhe here.

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