Miller Lite's creative business represents the third account win in the past week at the Playa del Rey, Calif. office of TBWA\Chiat\Day and is arguably the most daunting marketing challenge among them.
The other brands the office has taken on are Airbnb, which is a global assignment, and Buffalo Wild Wings, a domestic account. Collectively, the three brands spend about $270 million in media annually, including $160 million for Miller Lite alone, according to Kantar Media.
TBWA\C\D becomes the third lead agency for Miller Lite since 2012, after Draftfcb and Saatchi & Saatchi, which split with the brand in the spring. Since then, the brewer has used WPP Group shops like Ogilvy & Mather and Johannes Leonardo on a project basis.
TBWA\C\D, a unit of Omnicom Group, landed the assignment after a pitch against Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett and a WPP team known as Royal Order. At the same time, the brand's Hispanic marketing responsibilities shifted from Casanova Pendrill to Dieste, another Omnicom shop.
In recent years, the popularity of light beer has declined as consumers increasingly embrace darker microbrews, that is if they haven't abandoned beer all together. Amid such headwinds, big brewers like Miller Lite parent MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose brands include Budweiser and Miller Lite, talk more about stemming declines than growing share, with some exceptions, of course.
So, the challenge of making the vintage Miller Lite brand hot again is formidable. But with a new leadership team (president Luis DeAnda and CCO Stephen Butler) and some momentum, TBWA\C\D aims to beat the odds. The new agency's first work is expected in the first quarter of next year.