NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Fresh from its successful Super Bowl cameo, Miller High Life is taking a decidedly less mass-reach approach to its latest TV marketing vehicle. The beer brand is throwing up its devil horns in sponsorship of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" -- a sort of "Tonight Show" for the AC/DC crowd -- that starts its third season Oct. 3.
Miller will be featured throughout the nine-episode season through illustrated signage of its signature bottle, as well as sponsored vignettes and interstitials of notable hard-rock icons such as David Coverdale* of Whitesnake "living the High Life" on the road and interacting with fans.
Mark McIntire, VH1's senior VP-integrated marketing, said the channel received an unsolicited request for proposal, or RFP,Miller Coors' in-house media agency, MC Media, to generate an exclusive idea for Miller High Life heading into the show's third season. The beer brand's involvement allowed the network to retrofit some of the new season's behind-the-scenes footage to feature High Life branding, as well as integrate the beer into upcoming episodes.
Ready to rock
"When we looked at their brand objectives and how we bring the audience they're looking for in a very authentic show, those two pieces fit well together," Mr. McIntire said. "The integration allows us to take the field pieces we've shot and make them bigger, so for the people who watch 'That Metal Show,' our ability to take those elements out of the studio and onto the field will help maintain the authenticity to our core fans."
Joe Abegg, Miller High Life's brand manager, added that the beer brand and VH1 Classic viewers share many of the same characteristics. "Music is a great way for us to connect with Miller High Life drinkers, so gaining visibility through product integration in this show is a nice way to bring the brand to life and reinforce its no-B.S., unpretentious values," he said.
Although "That Metal Show" is the highest-rated series on VH1 Classic, its ratings are certainly a far cry from the Super Bowl. The second season averaged a 0.112 rating among adults 18-49, but grew an impressive 107% among men in the demo, with a median age of 40.1 and a 77% male skew, according to Nielsen.
Miller High Life will also help get the word out for the modestly budgeted show, which does the majority of its consumer marketing through radio ads on various Westwood One programming, Premiere Radio's "Bob & Tom Show" and Sirius-XM's "Howard Stern Show." VH1 executives also indicated there's potential for "That Metal Show" to receive simulcasts on the flagship VH1 channel, as Classic is available in roughly half of VH1's 90 million-plus homes.
"In the world of metal, there's a very passionate audience that follows that content wherever," Mr. McIntire said. "From the beginning we've always had a very strong awareness that when we play metal and build metal programming, the audience comes back and participates in blogs and conversations with us about metal music."
"That Metal Show's" season premiere will also double as a showcase for Anvil, a 20-year-old band with a cult following among metal fans who got a taste of the mainstream when VH1 helped produce and distribute "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil" to a limited theatrical release that has grossed an appropriate $666,000 to date at the box office.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this misidentified the lead singer of Whitesnake. He is David Coverdale, not David Cloverfield.