MILWAUKEE: Miller Brewing is planning a major PR push for its Miller Lite brand this year. Included in the campaign will be pre-Super Bowl stunts aimed to draw attention from rival Anheuser-Busch, a perennial Super Bowl advertiser.
Miller is working with Burson-Marsteller's Chicago office on the Miller Lite account. Burson beat out Ketchum and Weber Shandwick Worldwide for the Miller business last April. At the time, the size of the account was estimated to be worth $1 million annually.
"The PR we're going to be doing is about turning heads with consumers," said Ron Acosta, Miller Lite communications manager.
PR efforts will be targeted at males age 21-27, he said.
Miller Lite accounts for 40% of Miller annual sales by volume, but the light-beer category is a crowded one, and Miller Lite saw sales fall in 2001.
During Super Bowl week, Miller will be holding events with women featured in a Miller Lite ad by Ogilvy & Mather called "Cat Fight." The ad features two women brawling over Miller Lite while men watch.
Miller won't be advertising during the game, but "the Super Bowl is much more than just the game," Acosta said. "It's everything that happens around it." Miller hopes to garner attention for Miller Lite with events like the cat fight and with a Super Bowl party it will hold at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26.
Other PR plans include events tied to the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and events at bars and restaurants that tie into an ad Miller Lite has run in Playboy with a spin-the-bottle contest. Miller will take the game to bars and restaurants for patrons to play, Acosta explained.
PR is part of the integrated push for the brand that also includes on-premise promotions and the new packaging, Acosta added.