cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Miller Lite's Marketing Issues, Jaguars' Booze Bribe and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 27, 2013 07:22 PM

Miller Lite's Marketing Problem

Miller Lite’s “Tastes Great, Less Filling” ad campaign was one of the most memorable of the 1970s, but the brew’s marketing message has been lost over the years, and sales have followed. 

Alan Clark, the CEO of parent company SABMiller, told the Wall Street Journal that the dip in sales isn’t because consumers don’t like the taste of the brew, but because of its poor marketing. After all, Coors Light has been growing its sales in recent years because of its “Rocky Mountain cold refreshment” branding. “(It) is so simple and yet so powerful in its expression,” Clark told the Journal.

So the brand trying its best to bring back the magic of the old days. It reinstated “Miller Time” last year, began airing ads with celebs this year, and is trying out a limited-edition retro can next year, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. Something's bound to stick. If not, maybe some good old 'Tastes Great, Less Filling' arguments?Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Heineken Aims for Second Screens, Walmart Wants to Be the King of Beers and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2013 06:13 PM

Heineken Aims for Second Screens

According to Heineken, 70 percent of fans watching the UEFA Champions League soccer matches are doing so at home with a tablet, and 77 percent of tablet owners have their devices nearby during games, so why not take advantage of that? 

Heineken is looking to spur more tablet usage during European matches by offering up big-name soccer stars to chat with during games. Dutch legend Ruud Gullit will be the first to take part in the #sharethesofa campaign with more headliners to follow.

According to Mashable, those who tweet #sharethesofa will also be elligible for prizes, including earning the company of two soccer stars who will join them on their own couch to watch a match.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Dom's New Balloon-Inspired Bottle, Hello Kitty Beer and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2013 05:46 PM

Jeff Koons Teams with Dom Perignon on New Bottle

It’ll cost you millions to get an original piece of art by Jeff Koons, but a Koons-designed bottle of Dom Perignon will only set you back $20,000. The company turned to the artist two years ago to create a new bottle design, along with gift boxes and a bottle holder. Koons eventually turned out a design inspired by his famous Balloon Venus sculpture, according to the New York Observer.

“Its color is deep, with light amber and copper tints,” the brand said in a statement, according to HauteLiving.com. “The wine’s bouquet erupts theatrically from its silken fleshy body, just as the sculpture’s reflective surface envelop the viewing in a dynamic invitation to tasting.” 

The bottle was unveiled this week in New York City, attracting A-listers who just happened to be in town for Fashion Week, including Martha Stewart, Carmelo Anthony, Eve, Maya Lin, Ted Allen and Donna Karan, among many others, Wine Spectator reports.Continue reading...

brand innovation

Heineken Readies to Ignite the Night with New Interactive Bottles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2013 02:56 PM

First introduced several months ago as a concept at Milan Design Week, Heineken is readying to roll out its interactive Heineken Ignite bottle in seven key markets around the globe.

The “first interactive bottle” is outfitted with eight bright LEDs, an eight-bit microprocessor, a motion detector, and a wireless network transceiver that allows the bottle to light up when you raise it to take a sip, clink bottles, and even flash along to the beat of real-time music, according to PSFK.Continue reading...

big data

AB InBev Sets Up Shop on University of Illinois Campus—for Research Lab

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 03:45 PM

If you need help with beer, college students might just be the best people to ask for advice.

That seems to be the thinking behind Anheuser-Busch InBev's new research lab, appropriately dubbed the Bud Lab, at the University of Illinois. The analytics center in the school's research park on its Champaign-Urbana campus will use data to "solve problems ranging from assortment optimization, social media and market trends to large-scale data initiatives," according to a statement on the school's website.

This will give Bud a “permanent presence on campus,” Claudio Garcia, AB InBev's chief people and technology officer, told Ad Age — but not in a college marketing sense. The research won’t be about consumption but about tapping into the bright young academics who are studying statistics, computer science, business and engineering to help the brewer solve some of the challenges that it's facing.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Walmart Stacks Beer Sales, Diageo's Scotch Yacht and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 9, 2013 05:45 PM

Walmart Doubling Efforts on Alcohol Sales

Wal-Mart told 500 adult-beverage industry reps last September that the company wanted to double its alcohol sales by 2016. Since then, it has put extra effort into its beer sales, doubling its amount of alcohol buyers to a dozen and offering up discounts on a wide range of brands, Bloomberg reports.

“We’re seeing dramatic increases in sales,” Steve Bailey, vice president of chain accounts for Columbia Distributing, which supplies beer to about 90 Walmart stores in Washington and Oregon, told Bloomberg. That has caused Columbia—and likely plenty of other distributors—to pay closer attention to Walmart.

The retailer has made their beer displays more prominent, even selling brews in some of its gardening centers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. That doesn't bode well for competing retailers like Costco, BJ's and ever small-town convenience store across the US.Continue reading...

china

Pabst Commemorative US Army WWII Beer Shows Up in China

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 12, 2013 06:37 PM

A beer can memorializing the US Army's victory in World War II is not unthinkable. A beer can memorializing the US Army's victory in World War II targeted solely at the Chinese market is a little less likely. Yet, there it is.

"World War Two Edition in memory of US Army" reads the English on the side of a green Pabst Blue Ribbon can now on sale at select groceries in China. Under a stoic photo of a helmet-clad soldier's face, the exclamation "Yes we can!"

The "Yes we can!" cans come in a variety of US Army soldiers, including grizzled guy on a beachhead, grizzled guy on a battlefield, and grizzled guy introspectively looking heavenward as a (French?) town behind him burns.Continue reading...

news you can booze

Craft Beer Fans Fight Back Against Big Beer Brews

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 15, 2013 04:04 PM

Everyone wants a piece of the craft beer industry, from big beer brands to major league ball clubs. But these days, it's getting harder and harder to tell a true craft brew from ones just made to look the part. 

The most recent faux-craft siting occured at Yankee Stadium, where a vendor operating as "Craft Brew Destination" was in fact selling "craft" beers made by MillerCoors. Blogger Amanda Rykoff sounded off about the misinformation, noting MillerCoors beers (whether they're labeled craft or not) don't exactly fit into the Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewer, which limits production to six million barrels or less and demands independent ownership. As NPR notes, the Yankees have been shamed into renaming the stand Beer Mixology Destination, a collection of words that mean pretty much nothing other than “Beer Here!”Continue reading...

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