Miller Lite Beercracker: Did it crack the holiday marketing code?

The brand shared the story behind its modified nutcrackers and how many people entered to win one.

(Photo credit: Miller Lite, used with permission)

Campaign: Miller Lite Beercracker
Companies: Molson Coors
Agency Partners: Phaedon (creative, public relations and influencer management); Volt (social media); Connect (paid media); Svedvik (Beercracker design and development)
Duration: November 28 – December 13, 2023

Nutcrackers are a common sight during the holidays. But for the 2023 holiday season, Miller Lite modified one to help consumers crack open their beer bottles.

Strategy

In recent years, beer brand Miller Lite’s creatives have conducted several Christmas campaigns. In 2022, the brand offered a Christmas tree keg stand and the previous year it introduced “beernaments” (aka ornaments which can hold a can of beer).

“Our fans have come to associate Miller Lite with the holiday season, and we work diligently with our agency partners to develop innovative programming each year,” Eric Wolfe, Miller Lite marketing manager, said via email.

For 2023’s holiday season, Miller Lite offered fans a bottle opener, called the “Beercracker,” that looks like the classic Nutcracker doll.

“We loved that the Beercracker taps into the spirit of the classic nutcracker to open beer bottles and cans at holiday gatherings,” Wolfe said. Also, the item was “an authentic way to weave in our brand storytelling, not only into the design, but also in the unique functionality which brought tangible value to consumers.”

Tactics

The company sold the beer openers for $29.95 and offered followers the chance to win one through a sweepstakes.

To generate earned media, the brand did a media embargo outreach before Thanksgiving.

“From there, we conducted widespread outreach to media friendlies across food [and] beverage, consumer lifestyle (with a focus on home decor and lifestyle verticals), men’s and women’s interest, marketing, beer trade and beyond,” Wolfe said.

The creatives promoted the campaign on Facebook and Instagram with posts showing how the Beercracker works. 

“Tis’ Miller Time once again!” an Instagram post from the brand stated. “This year our Beercracker is bringing a twist on the holiday classic — open your beer bottles with its mouth, or take off its hat to crack open a can.”

The brand also worked with influencers Caucasian James and Andrew Spencer.

In a video on X, James struggled to open a bottle.

“Ever have trouble opening your delicious, ice-cold Miller Lite?” James, wearing a Miller Lite sweater, says in a voiceover. 

There is then a screeching noise and James says, “Well, that’s now a problem of the past!”

He then encourages people to purchase the Beercracker, a Miller Lite sweater and other merchandise via the brand’s website.

Meanwhile, Spencer’s Instagram reel shows him hanging out and talking with “Benny the Beercracker.”

Results

The brand sold 300 Beercrackers. More than 13,000 people entered to win one, according to the campaign.

James’ post on X generated more than 1,300 likes and more than 280,000 views.

Spencer’s Instagram video received more than 42,000 views.

The campaign received coverage from CheddarMashed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and People.com.


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