Miller Keeps Focus on Taste

CHICAGO Miller Brewing has wrapped up its “Miller for President” effort from Wieden + Kennedy, but will continue to focus on taste in upcoming ad efforts, the Milwaukee-based brewery said.

Miller today breaks a spot from independent Schupp Co. in St. Louis that features consumers who participated in taste tests comparing Anheuser-Busch products to Miller beers. The spots were shot on location in Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and San Antonio.

The client spends $250 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Upcoming Miller ads are expected to employ a football theme, and the game will also be central to the client’s promotions this fall, sources said. In addition to Portland, Ore.-based Wieden and Schupp, Miller’s roster shops are WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam.

“It’s important for us to drive taste because we’ve gained a lot of ground with the half the carbs of Bud Light story,” said Tom Bick, senior brand manager for Miller Trademark brands. “[A-B’s latest ad theme] ‘It’s all here’ is what I’m going to challenge [A-B] on.”

The last spot in the “Miller for President” campaign broke the weekend of August 7-8. There is no more work in the pipeline, although Bick said since the real election season goes on, Miller’s mock campaign could make a return. The campaign had debuted in April.

“It was a clever way to come out with talking about what our challenge is, breaking though consumer indifference or a default choice in the category and doing it in a fun, clever way,” Bick said about the series of ads spoofing the political season. “But after four months, it’s time to think about what else can we do for our consumers.”

A-B is the exclusive beer sponsor of the Summer Olympics and will inundate viewers during telecasts with advertising. Miller, shut out of the games in Greece, on Friday said it took its taste test to Athens, Ga., and Athens, Ohio.