MGD Spots Finally Debut

Miller “Comfortable’ With Them as Stopgap Measure
CHICAGO-Miller Brewing admits Wieden & Kennedy’s new campaign for Miller Genuine Draft isn’t the answer. But the Milwaukee brewer insists it’s on the right track.
“It will buy us some time,” MGD brand director Bruce Winterton said of W&K’s long-delayed work, unveiled this weekend during NBA telecasts.
The Portland, Ore., agency’s two 30-second spots are reworked versions of ads that were booed by distributors at a March convention and rejected by the brewer.
The ads could be W&K’s swan song, as sources still say it’s unlikely the shop will last the year as a Miller agency. Miller says it has no plans to change.
The sometimes contentious relationship between Miller and W&K and the pressure to get something on the air by Memorial Day made the process of reshooting the work a difficult one, sources said.
The tagline, “Put a keg in your hand,” is the same as it was in March, as is the strategy of draft beer in a bottle. But the ads were completely reshot and given new sound to achieve what Winterton called a more “contemporary” look. The brewer clearly is not fully satisfied, but with the summer beer drinking season fast approaching, had no choice but to air them.
“We feel pretty comfortable putting these [spots] on the air,” Winterton said. “I think they can lead us to someplace better.”
The spots represent “an important step toward stabilization,” said Tom Pirko, president of beverage consultancy Bevmark. “It’s quite frankly a return to some discipline and some harder thinking.”
Miller will evaluate the campaign with consumers and distributors with hopes to “evolve it further,” Winterton said.
While less than enthused about the creative, Winterton said the strategy is sound. “Draft beer in a bottle … can be a pretty powerful message for this brand,” he said.