MILLER TO LAUNCH LARGEST AD CAMPAIGN IN YEARS

Readies 35 New Commercials in English and Spanish

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- In an effort to re-energize its flagging alcohol brands, the Miller Brewing Co. is mounting
A creepy dummy stars in one of the Miller Lite spots.
its most aggressive advertising push in years.

The Philip Morris Cos. unit this spring and summer will launch more than 35 English and Spanish commercials for Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller High Life and Miller High Life Light.

The ads were unveiled to distributors at their annual convention. The Lite spots are slated to break during the NCAA basketball tournament beginning this month.

Embarassing tales, good beer
Distributors apparently liked many Miller Lite ads, in which 20-somethings tell friends embarrassing, comedic tales over a bottle of the brew. Viewers first see the stories playing out, then see the group of friends reacting to the storyteller.

The 23 ads also

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feature singers Chris Isaak and Pat Green, boxer Fernando Vargas and the Latino band Kumbia Kings talking about the beer. The "Grab a Miller Lite. It's Miller Time" tagline was adapted to "Miller Time."

English-language ads were done by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York. The Lite's first Hispanic ads were done by Latinworks, Austin, Texas.

Wholesalers reaction
The wholesalers were less impressed with Miller Genuine Draft's new campaign, Pure MGD, according to one attendee.

Seven ads were shown, three English spots from WPP's J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, and four Hispanic ads from Latinworks.

Some of the spots focus on MGD's cold filtration, while others are upbeat spots that show people enjoying the beer and experiences it brings.

This is not the first time recent MGD work has failed to thrill wholesalers, and the company has admitted MGD has had trouble connecting with the key 21- to 27-year-old drinker.

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