Miller Does a Double Take

Miller Brewing Co. will air two versions of a “purity” strat egy for its Miller Genuine Draft brand out of J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, and Ogilvy & Mather, New York, sources said.

The spots, still in rough cuts, will be tested before they air, but executions from both shops are likely to run, according to a com pany representative. He would not specify a break date.

JWT originally introduced the purity theme in March. Its new work plays off the premise that men are not as pure as they may seem, sources said.

One spot shows a woman discovering that her boyfriend appears to be a secret agent. She rifles through her boy friend’s dresser drawer while he’s in another room and finds a multitude of passports that bear his picture and name. Another ad depicts a man checking out his date’s rear end as they take shelter during a rainstorm.

Ogilvy’s work is also based on the purity theme. In one execution, a man enters a church confessional and, as he confesses his sins, a line of parishioners forms outside. The man leaves, glances at the long line, then walks away, cleansed. The priest emerges in a state of near collapse, wiping sweat from his brow.

The spots were shown to distributors at the National Beer Wholesalers Association meeting in Boston last week. Attendees were pleased with the work from both agencies, sources said.

The meeting represented the first face-off of work from incumbent JWT and Ogilvy after Miller split the $50 million account between the two shops in September after a shootout.

At the time of the contest, the brewer had said it wanted to con tinue marketing the beer as cold-filtered, but was not satisfied with JWT’s executions. In one of those spots, a man not impressed with a super ficial Hol ly wood scene escapes to a rooftop, where he shares the beer with a girl in a moonlit, more “pure” setting.

JWT has had trouble with the MGD brand since it won the account three years ago. The shop’s previous effort, tagged, “Never miss a genuine opportunity,” was criticized by both distributors and Miller executives as having too many sexual undertones.

Miller executives have contended that of all Miller’s trademark brands, MGD has the most potential to be marketed globally, according to sources.