MillerCoors Aims For More Consistent Marketing

MillerCoors' new marketing chief plans a more consistent messaging approach in an effort to simultaneously grow two of the company's flagship beers.

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​MillerCoors' new marketing chief plans a more consistent messaging approach in an effort to simultaneously grow two of the company's flagship beers.

The Chicago-based brewing giant recently dismissed chief marketing officer Andy England and sales head Ed McBrien amid lagging performance by Miller Lite and Coors Light.

David Kroll, the company's vice president of innovation, was tabbed to succeed England. He told Advertising Age that the company's marketing became "too scattered" in recent years amid "three, four, five" campaign shifts in any given year.

"I think over time that really starts eroding the meaning of our brands," Kroll said. "And you will see me very focused on bringing that consistency back."

Kroll said he does not expect significant changes to marketing for Miller Lite, which he said is largely successful. The brand grew by 0.7 percent in the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

Coors Light, by contrast, plans to turn to "a much more consistent meaningful message around Rocky Mountain cold refreshment." The brand declined by 0.6 percent between the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

Kroll said he believes it's possible to grow both brands at the same time, but that his initial focus will be on stabilizing their performance.

He added that although large breweries' higher-alcohol premium beers struggled, flavored beers — including MillerCoors' Redd's Apple Ale — are "exploding." Reports suggested that the company could also soon aim to capitalize on alcoholic root beers and other sodas.

"I think the hard soda space is definitely compelling and fast-moving," Kroll told Ad Age. "I also believe that with our brewing capabilities we have the ability to enter with a superior preferred entry."

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