If there was ever a time to contact Miller . . .
Steve’s breakdown: What the Sam-Hell is going on at MillerCoors. They can’t get their head out of their you-know-what. Time to pick up the phone and spread the wisdom.
BTW: The featured ad is an account I worked on at my very first job. Brought to you by J. Walter Thompson. A Reagan era campaign reflecting how the whole country felt. A far cry from what we have now. The good news is election day is almost here!
Now back to your regularly scheduled lead . . .
CHICAGO, IL: MillerCoors — a Chicago-based brewery that is a unit of Denver-based Molson Coors (NYSE: TAP) — has started the hunt for a new chief marketing officer after quietly parting ways with David Kroll late last month.
Kroll looks to have been designated by MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley as the fall guy for a beer operation that is underperforming on several fronts as it struggles mightily to find a way to reignite interest in beer among millennial drinkers.
Millennials several years ago began abandoning beer, especially mainstream brands such as Coors Light and Miller Lite, for alternative alcoholic options such as wine and spirits.
As beer sales at MillerCoors continue to suffer compared to what they were in rosier times, the company is hoping an infusion of new marketing talent with a new vision may help resolve the problems on several fronts.
In addition to declining sales for MillerCoors’ most important brand, Coors Light, the brewery has misfired elsewhere in efforts to offer a broader portfolio of beers. MillerCoors announced this week it would abruptly end production of Two Hats fruit-flavored lagers less than a year after they were introduced. Poor sales were said to have prompted MillerCoors to can the new beer brand.
Kroll certainly can’t be blamed for all the bad news at MillerCoors as Hattersley is the man at the top. But during Kroll’s three-year tenure as chief marketer, he did little to help the cause — rolling out one lackluster ad campaign after another for the brewery’s two principal brands Coors Light and Miller Lite.
A MillerCoors spokesman said the company would take as much time as is needed to find Kroll’s replacement. In a memo to employees, Hattersley said “our plans are locked and loaded through the fall, and I won’t sacrifice finding the right person to satisfy an arbitrary timeline.”
Kroll’s exit is certain to generate anxiety among the ad agencies working on MillerCoors’ two principal brands. One of the first things a new chief marketing officer typically does nowadays is shake up the roster of ad agencies to give the impression he or she is making a new start with new marketing partners.
DDB Chicago has worked on Miller Lite since last year. And 72andSunny in Los Angeles has been the agency for Coors Light under Kroll.