- MillerCoors is putting the agency roster for Coors Light under review as it looks to buoy the brand's business ahead of the key summer sales season and build on a new creative marketing strategy, according to a company blog post. 72andSunny, the incumbent agency of record for Coors Light, will not participate in the pitch, ending roughly four years of working with the brewer, The Drum reported.
- Since late last year, Coors Light has re-centered its messaging around its cold beers and "transformative refreshment," including through TV and digital advertising. With new creative partners, MillerCoors hopes to quickly speed up the brand's transformation and find "new and disruptive ways" to engage consumers, Ryan Reis, VP of Coors brands, said in a statement.
- Coors specifically wants to win over more 21- to 34-year-old drinkers and will "significantly" boost its digital and social media spending to do so, per Reis. Latino consumers are another audience the brand is hoping to reach, including through its first Latino-specific TV spots in several years, as its signature messaging around cold beers has connected with the demographic.
The agency review ramps up a marketing strategy realignment Coors Light began enacting last year and has continued to build on in 2019, such as by reinforcing commitments to focus more on digital and non-traditional media channels. In January, MillerCoors also named Michelle St. Jaques as CMO, who stepped into the role after David Kroll departed last July. St. Jacques previously served as SVP and global head of brands and capabilities for Kraft Heinz, spearheading viral campaigns like Kraft Mac & Cheese's "Swear Like a Mother."
While St. Jacques earned praise for her creative initiatives at Kraft Heinz, her official switch to MillerCoors came just a few weeks before the company behind labels like Kraft and Oscar Mayer announced a massive $15.4 billion write-down for its top legacy brands. Kraft Heinz, like MillerCoors, has struggled to adapt to shifting consumer preferences that have steered away from massive packaged food and beverage companies.
However, Coors Light and its parent company aren't shying away from the market headwinds that have negatively impacted sales for years now. Traditional brewers have been particularly pinched by the loss of millennial drinkers, who are more frequently purchasing spirits, wine and alcoholic sparkling beverages over beer. On-premise consumption of alcohol at venues like bars has also continued to slide as some millennials and quickly coming-of-age Gen Zers remain conscious of their budgets and feel more comfortable spending their nights in.
With the news, MillerCoors could also be looking to strengthen Coors Light's marketing foothold as rivals adopt a more aggressive approach to winning back consumers. The company is coming off of an ugly spat with chief competitor AB InBev, which has focused recent advertising efforts, including a Super Bowl commercial, around how MillerCoors uses corn syrup as an ingredient in its brewing process.
MillerCoors responded to the campaign through a social media push and full-page advertisement in The New York Times. It has continued to bat back against the anti-corn syrup messaging, noting that the ingredient is common among brewers and different from high fructose corn syrup, which some AB InBev products feature.