Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Miller Brewing Company’s new Anti – Man Laws

Let’s face it Miller Brewing Company has a problem with identity in its message to consumers. The underlying core of advertising is to find the distinctive traits of a product and promote its unique characteristics. That’s simple for most, not for Miller. Let me explain:

The wrong people are making the decisions for the direction of the company. Career longevity is not a word that can be used to describe Miller’s corporate sales force or advertising department. We even have a name to distinguish our Miller reps…Fast Larry. Some examples, “Why didn’t Fast Larry go out in the market today?” or “What did Fast Larry want on the phone?” We see a revolving door of Larry’s and I forget their names nowadays. Miller reps have become telemarketers with an in and out attitude. A quick call or a drive by the warehouse is what I get. This attitude will not sell more product, period. To increase sales and build product awareness you must learn the intricacies of the distributor’s business, understand market or territorial differences and habits, and build relationships with customers. I guess a short stint at Miller looks good on a resume. Let me clarify that I am not talking about the people that actually make the beer and work in the breweries. The brewery employees that work in Miller’s numerous plants are the backbone of the company. The longtime, career brewery employees should make the decisions or have a say in initiatives that comprise or affect the brewery’s core values and beliefs in regard to the message of the product in advertising. Finally, the Miller Distributors who have a long term, vested interest in Miller and the message that Miller delivers to the consumer should be allowed to voice their opinions about the advertising. I mean, what distributor in his right mind would have shelved "Taste great, Less filling" for "It's it and that's that" or the "Dick" fiasco.

As far as the direction of the new advertising of Miller Lite, I think we’ve missed badly with the More Taste League. Though I personally like his acting, John C. McGinley can’t stand up to manly men George Clooney's Bud voiceover commercials and Sam Elliot’s Coors voiceovers. When I think of McGinley, I think of his roles in Platoon, Office Space, and Wild Hogs. These were great character roles, but not ones that should be associated with Miller Lite, especially after Man Laws. Also, watch for A/B to start gaining share again. The new Bud Light creative "Dude" is hilarious and delivers its message simply, with one word that resonates perfectly in the lifestyle of our faithful, beercentric consumers.

Look for another downward spiral in Miller sales while the marketing and adverising geniuses search for a "new" identity and hit and miss philosphy of provoking Anheuser-Busch. Why not use the time-tested justification of the virtues of the product....Miller Lite has less calories than regular beer and it tastes wonderful. The distributors and brewers will make sure the product is in the hands of the consumer and the quality is exceptional.

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