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The Miller Genuine Draft campaign that saved the business for Bates USA, New York, turns out not to be much different than the agency's previous work for the brand.

The $35 million TV, print, outdoor and radio effort that broke last weekend changes the brand's theme line to "Stay cool" from "The world's a very cool place." The other main change was some packaging graphics.

Miller Brewing Co., while conceding the changes were "evolutionary," maintained the campaign is targeted very differently.

"It's all about Miller Genuine Draft being an agent to relieve heat," explained James Taylor, brand director.

Genuine Draft's older spots also used ice-related themes, but not always using people specifically drinking the beer for relief.

"In talking to consumers, we have learned that refreshment is important to beer drinkers and Genuine Draft does own that position," he said.


One of the three new spots presents the bottle as the focus of a light show. A second spot, more typical of the campaign, features a man sweating as he wildly exaggerates his work experience during a job interview, but cooling down with a Genuine Draft.

A third spot, using a frequent special effects trick of the old campaign, uses a model train town that comes to life when hit with a blast of hot light.

The new campaign comes at a crucial time for MGD, the nation's No. 7 brew. Beverage trade magazine Impact reported Genuine Draft lost 10.8% of its volume last year, dropping to 5.8 million barrels in shipments. Miller contends the brand did better in the second half of the year.

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