Over 100 million people watched Super Bowl LIII. But what did they see? A boring game or an epic defensive battle. Their favorite band or an uninspiring halftime show. Eye catching ads or ones that made you say huh.
What MillerCoors – brewer of Miller Lite and Coors Light – saw, was opportunity.
If you were up getting a snack and missed Anheuser-Bush’s Bud Light commercial , let me bring you up to speed. The brewing giant called out rivals Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup to brew their beers. As you can imagine, that didn’t sit well with MillerCoors nor with corn farmers.
Corn growers voiced their “disappointment.” MillerCoors wasted no time pushing out content voicing their pride in the ingredients they source from corn growers and reminded consumers that Miller Lite has fewer calories and less carbs than Bud Light. MillerCoors Chairman Pete Coors delivered Coors Light and Miller Lite to corn growers. Even a hashtag – #corntroversy – sprung up.
I’m not here to tell you which is better – Bud Light, Coors Light, or Miller Lite (although we at McDougall Communications do encourage people to sample products from your local craft breweries, wineries and distilleries). What I am here to tell you is to be prepared to take advantage of the happenings of the day to promote your brand.
MillerCoors hasn’t run a Super Bowl ad in more than 20 years. Instead of becoming defensive, they powered up the offense. At a substantially lower cost, they were able to capitalize on Anheuser-Bush’s multi-million-dollar ad buy to promote its products. Now that’s what we call earned media.