Molson Coors USA advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Molson Coors USA advertising

Molson Coors - formerly MillerCoors - is the #2 brewer in the US behind Anheuser-Busch InBev. It was formed in 2008 from a merger of the local operations of what were previously the local #2 and #3 beer companies. It is now wholly owned by Molson Coors, and finally dropped the MillerCoors name in favour of Molson Coors USA at the beginning of 2020. As its old name suggested, its two key brand families are Miller and Coors, the main homegrown challengers to the Budweiser family for the title of America's favourite brew. There is no love lost between the two companies, who have a long tradition of badmouthing one another in their advertising. The latest of many such arguments erupted in 2019 when the bigger company used one of its several Super Bowl ads to accuse MC of using corn syrup in its brewing process. MC responded with its own negative advertising and finally a lawsuit. Coors Light is now the #2 best-seller in the US, roughly half the size of Bud Light by volumes. Miller Lite ranks #4, while Keystone Light and Miller High Life sit just outside the Top Ten. Other products include a variety of craft beers (led by Blue Moon, Leinenkugel, Henry Weinhard's and others), flavoured ales and malt beverages (Redd's, Henry's, Sparks) and imports such as Foster's, Peroni, Urquell, Grolsch and Aguila from Colombia. The company entered the Mexican beer sector in 2018 with acquisition of US rights to Sol from Heineken, and also handles brewing, bottling and distribution under contract for smaller US rival Pabst. Until recently MillerCoors was a joint venture between Molson Coors and SABMiller, who continued to operate separately from one another in all other markets. Differences of strategy between the pair led to occasional tensions over the development of their US joint venture, and friction was exacerbated by the steady decline in MillerCoors' volumes sales since the merger took place. Any such tensions were resolved towards the end of 2015, when SABMiller accepted a takeover bid from rival AB InBev. To secure regulatory approval, it agreed to sell its shares in MillerCoors to its partner for $12bn. That deal completed in Oct 2016. Gavin Hattersley was CEO of MillerCoors, and became global CEO of parent Molson Coors in Sept 2019. Pete Coors is non-executive chairman. The US beer market remains intensely competitive. MillerCoors' volumes slipped to 64.3m hl in 2018. Net revenues fell 3% to $7.26bn, with pretax income of $1.32bn. MillerCoors has around 24% share of the US beer market to AB InBev's 42%.

Capsule checked 22nd February 2019

Which agencies handle advertising for MillerCoors? Find out more from the Account Assignments database

Who are the main marketing decisionmakers at MillerCoors? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments

Who are the competitors of MillerCoors? See Wine Beer & Spirits Sector index for other companies

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Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.

Historical profile information for MillerCoors

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Oct 2019: "Followers". American advertisers have really got it in for social media this week. Hot on the heels of Goodby Silverstein's "Get Real" HP ad comes this splendid satire from DDB Chicago for Miller Lite, amplifying the push back against the fakery and fawning of social media. Your local bar or pub: that's the original social medium. Do they really mean it, though? Probably not. Inevitably, millions more people will see this spot on - yes! - social media than they will on network TV (if this 90-second spot even airs there more than once or twice). It's the nature of the beast that social media has come to be the devil we love to hate even as we remain in its vice-like grip. Still, the ad is great, and it's a fine sentiment: "A few friends are better than a few thousand followers." So says Miller Lite, with their 230,800 Twitter followers.

 Adbrands Daily Update 21st Oct 2019: The increasingly rancorous war of words between AB InBev and Miller Coors took a new turn for the worse this month. There has never been much love lost between America's two biggest brewers, who have made a habit of needling one another for years. Yet new depths were plumbed at the start of 2019 when ABI used a Bud Light Super Bowl ad to accuse its rival of using corn syrup - worse still, high-fructose corn syrup - in its beers, suggesting that the product was cheaply made and inauthentic, a claim Miller Coors denied. Several further ads followed. At first, Miller Coors tried to laugh those accusations off, offering free beers in some bars every time ABI repeated the accusation in its ads. Eventually, though, the company lost patience and initiated a lawsuit, resulting in an injunction against further such claims by ABI. In the latest development, however, ABI has accused Miller Coors of stealing its secret beer recipes. It claims an ABI employee was persuaded to hand over secret recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra that described their brewing methods, as well as the barley and hop blends used and the volume and relative weight of ingredients.

Adbrands Social Media 31st Jul 2019: "Bra / Shower / Saturday Morning". I'll admit that, personally, I have no idea what it feels like finally to take your bra off at the end of a hard hot day at work, but I can imagine it's both a relief and one of life's little pleasures. That's the underlying concept of a great new set of ads from Coors Light's new US agency Leo Burnett. The agency has conjured up a series of these little private delights, all well observed and just a little bit naughty. The bra thing is out for me, of course, but drinking beer in the shower or over a Saturday morning sports game... well, that will suit me just fine. (We will make no comment about the similarities to VCCP's recent "Official Food of..." campaign for Domino's UK. Oops, looks like we just did).

Adbrands Daily Update 6th Mar 2019: New CMO Michelle St Jacques took steps to address continuing declines by MillerCoors' flagship brand Coors Light. She called a review of creative out of 72andSunny, which is understood not to be defending the account. Nielsen estimated a 7% slide in Coors Light volumes for the final quarter of 2018, according to figures quoted by market watcher Beer Insights. Yet that was a better result than top-selling US beer Bud Light, down almost 9% in the same period.

Adbrands Daily Update 21st Jan 2019: It's taken six months but Miller Coors finally named a replacement for CMO David Kroll. Michelle St Jacques joins the brewer from Kraft Heinz where she was SVP, global brands & capabilities.


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