Miller Lite takes light beer battle to rival Bud Light's hometown

Miller Lite carried out a blind taste test with 351 people in St. Louis, Missouri, the headquarters city of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Company: Miller Lite
Campaign: In Bud’s Backyard
Agency mix: Olson Engage (PR), Connect (media buying), DDB Chicago (digital), Team Enterprises (experiential)
Duration: September – November 2017

Miller Lite is so confident its light beer is the best that it held a blind taste test smack dab in the neighborhood of its biggest competitor, Bud Light.

Strategy
The brand and its PR agency partner, Olson Engage, began planning for the campaign in July 2017. This particular campaign fits into Know Your Beer, Miller Lite's overarching, nationwide education program.

"The Know Your Beer program, which has been running since May 2017, is an on-premise activation," explained Greg Butler, VP of marketing for the Miller family of brands. "Brand ambassadors have conducted blind taste tests with over 400,000 participants nationally this year."

The idea for the campaign was to take the Know Your Beer program to St. Louis, Missouri, the headquarters city of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

"We already had the Know Your Beer methodology developed, so the focus was on finding a compelling way to tell the story of our visit into Anheuser-Busch territory through PR and online video," said Butler.

Miller Lite also wanted to leverage short-form content from the footage captured onsite to drive traffic on social platforms.

In terms of media outreach, the brand wanted to focus on reaching national and local outlets, with a specific emphasis on St. Louis-based media.

Tactics
The video footage for the campaign was captured in St. Louis from September 7 - 9, 2017. Team Enterprises helped with the onsite interviews and taste testing sessions.

"For In Bud’s Backyard, Miller Lite adhered to its existing Know Your Beer approach: an unbranded blind taste test that had participants evaluate the color, aroma, and taste of two beers," added Butler. "The brand visited real St. Louis bars, had real people, no actors, and captured genuine reactions."

A 90-second brand video was released on Miller Lite's YouTube channel on November 1. The brand also produced a 15-second spot that was used across social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and supported by paid media.

The brand is continuing to push the video with paid buys on social and digital platforms.

Results
Miller Lite had 351 people in St. Louis participate in the Know Your Beer program during the weekend in September when the video was shot, with 76% choosing Miller Lite over Bud Light.

The campaign landed coverage in top-tier national outlets such as Forbes and Fox News, as well as in local outlets including St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal, Riverfront Times, and CBS St. Louis.

The 90-second spot has been viewed on YouTube more than 11,600 times. In addition, the video completion rate for In Bud's Backyard was 68% on YouTube, which was 40% higher than the campaign team's benchmark.

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