Coors, Miller Break Football Ads

LOS ANGELES Coors Brewing Co. kicks off a major sports initiative tonight on ABC’s Monday Night Football, according to the company. Coors’ campaign begins as Miller Brewing Co. launches three halftime-themed spots for Miller Lite on Saturday.

Coors’ 30-second spot treats the plastic bottles in the brand’s new 18-pack as players, seen as shadowy figures in a misty stadium tunnel awaiting the game. “Together they stand, poised for action,” says the voiceover by NFL Films narrator Harry Kalas.

The spot then shows a college tailgater, with plastic bottles tossed in slow motion as if it’s a game. Creative by Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, and creative director Chuck Rudnick, introduces the tagline, “Ready to go, ready to play.”

“Not surprisingly, our Coors Light drinker is also very often an NFL fan,” said Rob Borland, Coors Light brand director. “So we’ve got great brand awareness for Coors Light during a popular beer-drinking occasion, watching a football game with friends and family.”

Miller’s three 30-second spots, via WPP Group’s Y&R, Chicago, breaks Saturday during college football telecasts, according to the Milwaukee brewer. The campaign was developed under chief creative officer Mark Figliulo.

In “Runner,” three guys watching football send one of their friends on a beer run during halftime. He runs through a cooperative neighbor’s house and backyard and is aided by a policeman on horseback. Winding up in a convenience store, he gets the last six-pack of Miller Lite, just ahead of a perspiring shopper sent on similar errand.

In “Extensions,” a series of power cords, including party lights, stretch throughout the streets of a suburban neighborhood, leading to a store where a game-time beer runner has a brought a small TV with him so he doesn’t miss the action. With the beer just out of reach, the set unplugs back at his buddies’ living room.

In “Halftime,” the entire neighborhood empties into the street when the game intermission begins, starting a frantic, competitive dash to various stores to buy Miller Lite. The tagline for the spots: “This season, don’t miss a thing, in your sports, or in your beer.”

Another component of the campaign is a Web-based game that allows players to control a beer runner through a street obstacle course and across a football field, to retrieve Miller Lite.

Golden, Colo.-based Coors declined to state how much it is putting behind its football push, though it is the National Football League’s official beer sponsor. It spent $85 million advertising Coors Light through July 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Miller spent $130 million on Miller Lite during the same period, per Nielsen.