MILWAUKEE - Stripped down print ads that ask consumers to pick a tagline aren't new in advertising, but for Miller Brewing Co., it's the latest nontraditional marketing tool the brewer is using to tighten the screws on rival Anheuser-Busch.
In the first effort for its Icehouse ice-beer brand, a Miller print ad asks consumers to choose between three possible taglines or to offer a new one. The ad, made to look handwritten, shows three Polaroid shots of the Icehouse label and packaging, explaining that Icehouse is a new ice beer and this is the first ad. The three possible 'slogans' consumers can choose from on a mail-in ballot are: 'Icehouse. Drink some today'; 'Icehouse. It's beer. Pure and simple.'; and 'Icehouse. Smooth as Ice.' The ad also includes an 800 number, the company's first advertised use of a toll-free number, which consumers can call with questions about the new brand.
Young & Rubicam/Chicago, handles the campaign, which will run in USA Today this week as well as the year-end issue of Sports Illustrated.
'The most important thing is to make aware to beer drinkers that Icehouse will be available,' said Richard Lalley, Miller's director/new business development. 'It's different. It's interactive and gives people a reason to get involved.'
Meanwhile, Miller announced another ice beer. High Life Ice will be launched in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Eau Claire, Wis., this week. Y&R handles High Life.
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