SBJ/20090907/This Week's News

Miller, Coors hit season touting teamwork

Almost two years after the merger of Miller and Coors was unveiled, the company is touting this year’s programs from both brands as the largest and most integrated NFL marketing campaigns yet. 

Separate campaigns see Miller Lite continuing to use its coaches campaign to carry its message of cool refreshment as well as debuting NFL versions of its “Great Calls” campaign that links memorable NFL moments with its message of superior taste. So that means one brand uses some of the NFL’s most visible ex-coaches and also relies on some hall of famers, like Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett.

 Jackie Woodward, vice president of marketing services at MillerCoors, noted that this season is the first year where the company has been able to plan for the NFL season in a unified manner, which has allowed for deeper and more distinct marketing programs. As an example, Woodward said that while previously Coors Light and Miller Lite advertised in nearly every NFL telecast, this season they will overlap on only five broadcasts, as the unified brewer picks and chooses its advertising by geographic region and in support of its team sponsorships.

Coors has national NFL rights, while Miller and Coors combine for sponsorship of 22 NFL teams.

Romeo Crennel is next up for questions in the fourth year of
the Coors Light football coaches press conference spots.

The “Great Calls” ads are breaking this week around the season opener. They include memorable NFL moments, like Tom Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal (a record since tied by Jason Elam) or Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run on “Monday Night Football,” the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history.

Local executions show fans in markets such as Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota and Carolina enjoying beer to the strains of memorable calls from their team’s championship seasons, i.e. “Tasting Greatness.” Company officials said it’s not coincidental the campaigns evoke the original Miller Lite ads with the tag, “Tastes Great; Less Filling.”

“With light beer, you always have to be sure it isn’t perceived as a lesser beer, so in the original All-Stars campaign for Miller Lite, we delivered the message of taste in a masculine and appealing way, and that is what we’re back to,” said Grant Leech, vice president of marketing for Miller Lite. “It’s all about linking the great sports moments, which are a wonderful expression of masculinity, and linking them to the great taste of Miller Lite.”

Billboards and even promotional glassware will carry messages like “Packers Fans Taste Greatness for the Season.” There are also Hispanic, digital and radio extensions of the effort.

Overall spending on the effort was not disclosed.

A cause-related tie-in offers fans the opportunity to bid on a pair of former NFL players coming to their house, with proceeds going to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Meanwhile, Coors is in the fourth year of its coaches campaign, which is now using Herm Edwards, Romeo Crennel, Brian Billick and Marv Levy. A partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame will yield a faux induction into the “Press Conference Hall of Fame” next week, complete with ice sculptures of the Coors coaches. Fans will also be able to fashion their own coaches spots, a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of fans who did their own takeoffs on the ads and posted them on YouTube in the last year.

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