Meanwhile, some wholesalers wonder if the much-hyped introduction will make it out of test market.
In recent weeks, Miller has dropped the brand's original tagline "Great Beer-Drinking Beer." Current ads, from Cliff Freeman & Partners/N.Y. are experimenting with themes that tout Clear Beer as being full-caloried but less filling. They are generally employing the tag, "The first regular beer without the heaviness." Also tested have been such efforts as, "All the beer without the bloat," followed by a belch.
Chuck Kushell, executive vp at the agency, said that Miller had always planned a two-phase campaign, but he acknowledged that the second phase is being tweaked from the original game plan, because of consumer feedback, to include more information on product benefits. "In tracking it, we concluded that people are looking for a little more information here," he said.
Miller is test marketing Clear beer in Austin, Texas; Minneapolis and Richmond, Va. A Miller spokesman said the firm has no current plans either to expand or terminate the test, but some wholesalers in other cities are getting doubtful they will ever get the brand.
"The more I hear about it, the more I hear it won't get out of test," said a Midwestern distributor. "When they originally talked about it, I thought we'd have it pretty quick."
"It's pretty soft now, though it started strong," said Mack McKinley, owner of Common Interest, a trendy Austin bar that a Miller spokesman identified as a strong account last June.
Wholesalers, retailers and on-premise accounts in the test markets said that the beer generated strong trial by consumers at its launch in April, but has since slumped.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)