MillerCoors taps non-traditional advertising to brew up interest for new brand
- MillerCoors unveiled a new brand called Two Hats, a light beer offering with fruit flavors set to roll out next year, per a press release. Two Hats is specifically targeted at a 21- to 24-year-old audience, the release said.
- To promote the brew, MillerCoors is planning a campaign that will focus on digital and non-traditional advertising with initiatives including product sampling outreach, targeted social media ads and custom merchandise. Two Hats is seen as a key entry point to winning over a new customer base for MillerCoors, as company research found 40% of "beer loss" to alternatives like cheap wine and spirits happens between ages 21 and 24. Getting the attention of this segment is "critical" for MillerCoors to meet its sustainable growth goal through 2019, the release said.
- Two Hats will be sold in 16 oz. cans with lime and pineapple variations, playing into industry trends. Mintel research cited by MillerCoors found flavored offerings made up for 27% of beer launches in 2015, an 80% increase from 2010. Almost three in five U.S. alcohol drinkers have an interest in beer with fruit flavors, per Mintel.
MillerCoors didn't delve into too much detail in regards to its marketing strategy for Two Hats, but the rough outline of focusing on non-traditional and digital advertising is significant. Beer brands have long found a comfy home advertising on linear TV, leveraging programs like professional sports broadcasts to reach their intended audience which has, in the past, skewed older and male.
By playing up tactics like out-of-home and social media, MillerCoors is indicating that TV might not be the most effective channel for getting the interest and business of consumers who've recently come of legal drinking age and are now seeking a beverage of choice. This pivot comes as TV ratings continue to slide and networks struggle to keep the interest of eyeballs that are more often migrating toward digital streaming. Two Hats clearly wants to bring more female customers into the fold as well, as the Mintel data show flavored beer drinking was lead by women aged 22 to 34 in 2015.
Young demographic groups like millennials are often painted as craving authenticity and experience in their marketing more than traditional brand advertising, so promoting Two Hats via real-world product sampling and targeted social campaigns could successfully slake those appetites. The fruity flavor choices also indicate MillerCoors is taking notes from the success of smaller craft and micro-brewed beer. The brand's decision to lean into the trend toward a more flavorful brew contrasts with a recent campaign from competitor AB InBev's Bud Light, which emphasized Bud Light's simple ingredients as a refreshing alternative to overly-fancy or complex craft beers.
Follow Peter Adams on Twitter