In the face of stiffer competition from craft beer, Miller gives you Apple Ale. A different philosophy than the craft breweries are using.
Brewers are advertising economy brands less: Measured-media spending on the five largest low-end brews -- Natural Light, Busch Light, Busch, Miller High Life and Keystone Light -- fell to $6.9 million last year from $22.4 million in 2011, according to Kantar Media.That's less than a third of what they spent a year before. Amazing. Come to think of it, though, it has been awhile since I've seen a Keystone ad.
Trevor Stirling, a beverages analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said "Consumers are much more likely to "brand' themselves by what they drink, be it a quirky, heavily hopped IPA, or a "sophisticated' Stella; whereas Natty Light and Beast Light have, if anything, negative brand badging."If you think you understand the beer market, you have to wrap your brain around the idea that Stella is considered sophisticated and that the bigger companies think in terms of concepts like "negative brand badging."
Despite the competition from crafts, economy brands are not giving up on younger drinkers. A-B InBev's Natural Light, which targets college-age consumers, is seeking to stand out with new "stubby" bottles, dubbed "Fatty Natty," rolling out nationally. MillerCoors is targeting hipsters with its Hamm's brand via grassroots marketing.This is probably the only play left--doing a Pabst--but how many times are twenty-somethings going to go for the faux retro cred thing?
So there you go: intel from the front of the macro wars. It's a whole different world.
*No, I was not aware of the existence of this product.