"A lot of people looked at it like a high-school team going up
against a pro squad," he said. "But I was confident."
And that confidence was ultimately justified, as DraftFCB --
along with Initiative, Kinetic and Bromley -- bested Starcom in the
pitch to manage the brewer's $400 million media budget.
While he leads MC Media -- a task that involves coordinating
personnel from four agencies and three holding companies -- Mr.
Bernstein, 43, continues to also run DraftFCB's media department as
well, leading planning efforts for the likes of SC Johnson, Taco
Bell and Dow Chemical. All told, he manages a team of 120 people
that guides more than $1 billion in media spending.
Jackie Woodward, MillerCoors' VP-marketing services and a former
Media Maven herself, said Mr. Bernstein's success is owed, in large
part, to his ability to collaborate with creative agency
"He's got a terrific creative streak," she said. "He's really
helped us bridge with the creative agencies."
FCB never followed the media spinoff trend, a development that
has helped them better align their creative messages with the
places they put them. Coors seems to have benefited from that
approach, having grown at a faster rate than both its new sibling
Miller and its old rival Anheuser-Busch for several years running.
And Mr. Bernstein is now trying to use some of the techniques that
helped Coors Light grow to revive fading Miller Lite.
It's widely expected that he will look to steer Miller Lite to
begin spending more money on fewer total properties. Coors Light,
for instance, had tremendous success by tying up huge chunks of its
budget in NFL broadcasts, where viewers were bombarded with a
constant stream of the brand's "press conference" ads with retired
coaches, making the brand impossible to miss.
By contrast, Miller tended to spread its budget thinner. "One ad
out of 90 in an NFL game looks great on paper in terms of reach,"
said Mr. Bernstein, speaking generally about historic differences
in Miller's and Coors' approaches. "But to be successful when
you're being outspent you really have to stack the odds."
MillerCoors is pleased with the early results. "MC Media was
definitely an experiment for us," Ms. Woodward said. "It's worked
very well and that is 100% driven by Bob."