Wieden’s New MGD Work on Hold

Distributors Greet Spots With ‘Utter Silence’
CHICAGO–Problems with Wieden & Kennedy’s new campaign for Miller Genuine Draft have led the brewery to put off the work’s debut at for least two months. MGD’s media schedule for the NCAA basketball tournament will be filled with Miller Lite and High Life spots, the client said last week.
The work was met with “utter silence” at Miller Brewing distributors’ convention March 5, sources said. Executives had to reassure the crowd that the spots needed more polish.
“The work was meant to be a preview,” said Ron Acosta, a Miller representative. “There were some problems particularly [with] the audio.”
The Milwaukee brewery now plans to break Wieden’s MGD ads during the NBA playoffs in May, Acosta said.
The campaign focuses on the attributes that launched the brand in the 1980s, specifically its “draft beer” taste. That is a departure from Wieden’s first campaign, which featured black-and-white photography and an emphasis on Miller Brewing’s size, as well as TV spots with Gen-Xers engaged in unusual behavior.
Spanish-language spots from Wieden, representative of the new general-market effort, will begin airing this weekend, Acosta said.
Like Miller Lite agency Fallon McElligott, Wieden was sent back to the drawing board late last year.
Fallon’s failed Lite campaign led to a review–which it won–but the brewery deemed Wieden’s MGD idea a winner without seeking others.
Wieden also pitched Miller Lite and, sources said, the client sent its idea into production with director Joe Pytka. The spots, however, were unable to unseat Fallon. Wieden officials could not be reached by press time.