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Miller, JWT Keep It Simple for MGD Campaign

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Having launched new work for Miller Genuine Draft that falls back on the time-tested formula of simple, slightly risque humor, Miller Brewing remains in search of a winning approach for its flagship Miller Lite brand.
The "Genuine Opportunity" spots for MGD broke this weekend, six months after J. Walter Thompson here was charged with righting the uneven marketing efforts behind the brand, previously handled by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Ogilvy & Mather, New York, in July picked up Miller Lite, whose "Dick" campaign from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, continues to serve as the poster child for quirky but ineffective advertising.
Sources have said O&M sold boards for a new Miller Lite campaign, but client senior vice president of marketing Robert Mikulay indicated nothing is imminent.
"I want world-class advertising, and when we [get that] we will put it on the air," Mikulay said. "[O&M is] still working toward better work."
O&M is producing extensions of Fallon's last-ditch, celebrity-driven "Debate" campaign to fill time during the spring, Mikulay said.
JWT's MGD spots take a page from the Anheuser-Busch book of beer advertising, using accessible, frat-boy humor of the sort JWT executive creative director Dennis Ryan and group creative director Bob Merlotti perfected while at A-B lead agency DDB Chicago.
"We tried to make the spots very simple," Ryan said. "This is a brand that needs to re-establish its voice."
"I'm confident what we have here is not interim work," Mikulay said.
Still, the brewer will be evaluating the work closely--looking at sales and also at how the ads sit with Miller's distributors, who have been demoralized during the recent years of advertising misfires.