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US: New marketing push for Miller Lite and MGD

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Miller Brewing Company has launched a new advertising campaign. The marketing strategy revolves around the results from a recent nationwide taste test, which concluded that the majority of Bud Light drinkers found that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light, the company said.

The new marketing activity marks the first significant use of taste claims in the US brewing industry in recent decades, and will include television, radio, print and in-store promotional materials carrying the simple theme, "Taste for Yourself."

The Miller "Taste for Yourself" initiative follows nine months of sales gains, as Miller Lite has grown 12.5%, compared with 1.4% for Bud Light (according to ACNielsen supermarket data for 30 August, 2003 to 12 June, 2004, versus the previous year), the largest-selling beer in America.

The fact that Miller Lite has half the carbohydrates of Bud Light has been widely credited by the company as a major driver of that momentum. Miller is now moving to capitalise on Anheuser-Busch's current advertising, which encourages consumers to "Choose on Taste." The "Taste for Yourself" spots will also continue to remind beer drinkers of Miller Lite's carb advantage.

"We've hit on the 'great taste' theme for some time now," said Bob Mikulay, Miller's executive vice president of marketing. "But the findings of the study help us put a sharp point on it. American beer drinkers are rediscovering choice, and we believe they will find our message of 'more taste and half the carbs' highly relevant as they choose."

The "Taste for Yourself" effort also communicates a similar finding for Miller Genuine Draft from the taste test: The majority of Budweiser drinkers said Miller Genuine Draft has more flavour than Budweiser.

The blind taste and perception tests were conducted among hundreds of beer drinkers across the US by The Institute for Perception, an independent research firm based in Richmond, Va. In the Miller Lite-Bud Light test, participants were asked to determine, "Which of these two products has more taste?" For the Miller Genuine Draft-Budweiser research, respondents were asked to answer the question, "Which of these two products has more flavour?"

"Anheuser-Busch has operated as America's premier marketing machine over the past three decades," Mikulay said. "Their image is incredibly strong, and so our job is to ask people to look closely at the actual beers, and taste for themselves. A-B will try to define 'taste' as half a century of Clydesdale imagery, and we've got to define it based on what's actually in the bottle."

The new marketing effort kicked off on 25 June with the broadcast of three 15-second television spots, "Let That Sink In," "WWW" and "Calls for a Beer." Additionally, two 15-second Spanish-language spots are receiving extensive air time on Hispanic programming, especially soccer and boxing.

The new spots will air in addition to Miller's ongoing "President of Beers" television ads. The latest execution in that series, entitled "Independence," begins running this week in the lead-up to the 4th of July weekend.


Sectors: Beer & cider

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