The agencies will collaborate on developing creative for a line dubbed the "Miller Lite Brewers Collection," a group of low-calorie, craft-style beers under the Miller Lite banner. The launch will start with TV, out-of-home and digital work in four markets: Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis; and San Diego.
Similar to Miller Chill
Miller used a similar approach to launch its Miller Chill brand last year, and -- when it passed early muster in the test markets -- quickly converted it into a heavily promoted national brand.
Mother handles Milwaukee's Best Light for Miller, while Jacobson Rost has worked on the Milwaukee-based brewer's Leinenkugel's craft line.
The two shops beat out Miller Lite's agency of record, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, in the pitch. Bartle Bogle could not be reached for comment.
Appealing to craft-brew drinkers
The craft collection consists of a blonde ale, amber ale and a wheat beer. They are scheduled to hit the test markets next month.
It's unclear whether craft-beer drinkers, whose fast-growing ranks include some consumers with anti-corporate attitudes, will embrace craft beers under the banner of a mega brand, but Miller isn't the only big brewer trying it. Anheuser-Busch this year is trying to reposition its Michelob brand family to compete more directly with craft brewers with creative that closely mimics Sam Adams' ads.
In a statement announcing that Miller would test the Brewers Collection last month, Miller Chief Marketing Officer Randy Ransom said, "The brewer who can provide a more refreshing and drinkable craft style can stake out a whole new niche in the market. That's what we intend to do."