MillerCoors reviews Coors Light ad roster: ‘We need the brand to come back to life’

MillerCoors reviews Coors Light ad roster: ‘We need the brand to come back to life’

MillerCoors bosses have made no secret of their dissatisfaction with Coors Light’s advertising. Now, with a new marketing chief in place, it has opted to review its agency roster with current partner 72&Sunny declining to repitch.

The LA-based agency won the account in 2015 and the first work was a campaign, 'Climb On,' which encouraged people to celebrate the personal mountains they climb in their own lives. This concept became core to the brand’s marketing and was later followed up with a 10-part campaign looking into the global adventures its drinks take.

However, on an earnings call last year executives at MillerCoors expressed their unhappiness with advertising for the brand, saying it had focused “too much on the Rocky Mountain lifestyle” and not enough on selling the beer.

“We're moving quickly to get Coors Light back onto a solid footing,” said chief executive Gavin Hattersley. “The brand is at its best when it's laser-focused on its messaging and makes it absolutely clear what makes Coors Light different than the competition.”

According to recent IRI data, Coors Light sales fell by 3.9% in 2018.

72&Sunny had worked on the brand’s ‘comeback’ campaign, which launched in December and ditched the ‘Climb On’ idea to instead focus on Coors Light’s “cold credentials” and how it brings “transformative refreshment” to drinkers.

The brand said it's delivering the results it needs and “plans to hammer that message”. However, it is looking for new agencies to keep up the momentum.

It is understood that 72&Sunny will not repitch for the business.

“Our current mix of agencies has done some incredible work, but as we bring Coors Light back to what made it so successful to begin with, we’re seeing some exciting ideas from new places about how that concept can come to life,” said Ryan Reis, vice president of Coors family of brands.

“As we look to identify new and disruptive ways for the brand to come to life, we are starting to explore some of these new partnerships.”

It’s the first time in three years that Coors Light has opened up its creative agency roster in the US. In the UK, it recently moved of its creative account from VCCP, which had managed it for eight years, into Havas.

VCCP had been responsible for the series of Jean Claude Van Damme adverts – which showed the actor in various snow-capped mountain settings.

The shake-up also comes in tandem with the arrival of a new chief marketing officer. Former Kraft Heinz marketer Michelle St. Jacques replaced David Kroll on 4 February, becoming the beer brand’s first ever female chief marketing officer.

The company’s investment into global marketing and other “brand building activity” last year totalled “well over” $400m.

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