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TMCNet:  Miller High Life's new ad campaign: 'I Am Rich' [Chicago Tribune :: ]

[April 11, 2014]

Miller High Life's new ad campaign: 'I Am Rich' [Chicago Tribune :: ]

(Chicago Tribune (IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 11--MillerCoors is unveiling a new ad campaign for its Miller High Life brand aimed at convincing so-called "economy drinkers" how rich they really are.

The "I Am Rich" campaign will debut during Sunday's season premiere of "Mad Men." It is the first national TV push for Miller High Life since 2012. Some things will remain the same though: The brand is sticking with "The Champagne of Beers" tagline.

Miller High Life is the ninth-largest beer sold in the United States, according to data from Euromonitor International. While it has held onto that spot for years, it lost market share as sales declined in 2011 and 2012. The brand held a 2.2 percent share of the market in 2012, the last year for which Euromonitor data is available.

Drinkers of so-called economy beers, brands such as Miller High Life and Keystone Light, are important to brewers and retailers. They have the highest purchase frequency and dollars spent per beer buyer, and happen to be very loyal to the brands they buy, according to Chicago-based MillerCoors. Drinkers of higher-priced beers spend more per bottle or can, but they also are more likely to drink a variety of brands, research shows.

Executives hope the campaign shows the authenticity of the brand, which launched in 1903.

Two commercials, shot in black and white on 35 millimeter film, depict a guy getting together with friends. Friends coming into his apartment are greeted by his dog, while a voiceover suggests that his apartment overlooks Central Park and that they are greeted by his butler.

"My helipad is being resurfaced, so tonight we travel by more humble means," the voiceover says, as you see the man and his friends walking down the street.

MillerCoors is focusing on the authenticity of its brands, as it did recently by bringing back '70s style white cans for Miller Lite. The push comes as smaller craft beers, often seen as more authentic by consumers, have eaten away at the sales of some more established brands.

"The search for authenticity is something that's really important right now," said Amanda Devore, marketing manager for Miller High Life. She said that Miller High Life has "great heritage" and "it's the right time to support that." Miller High Life chose to start the campaign during the final season premiere of "Mad Men" as the show "feels authentic" and appeals to viewers interested in advertising and culture, Devore said. MillerCoors also has a larger partnership with AMC.

While the black and white spots may suggest an earlier time, Miller High Life is also keeping up with modern times, planning to start using its @millerhighlife account on Twitter this weekend. The brand has more than 2,700 followers on Twitter, even though it had not yet tweeted as of Friday.

Devore wouldn't share details such as spending or sales expectations, but said the company is spending "much more" than it had in a quite a while on Miller High Life and expects to see sales trends improve.

The campaign was created by Leo Burnett. MillerCoors plans to air the two commercials -- a 30-second spot and a 15-second one that features the same cast -- mainly on entertainment shows on cable and on some syndicated programs through the end of July, Devore said. Print ads are also set to appear in "Rolling Stone" and "Vice." Follow @JessicaWohl Follow @chibreakingbiz ___ (c)2014 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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