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GOLDEN, Colo. -- MillerCoors is going back to basics by reintroducing the once-famous "It's Miller Time" slogan as part of a marketing campaign this summer. The move is an attempt to reinvigorate the struggling Miller Lite beer.
The familiar slogan will hit airwaves this spring when MillerCoors begins to roll out commercials with the 1970s tagline -- first used to High Life beer before linking to Miller Lite, according to MarketWatch.
Chief Marketing Officer Andy England told Dow Jones Newswires the new campaign would focus more on the social aspect of the Miller Lite brand. Previously, the slogan highlighted the work/reward relationship. England said MillerCoors intends to boost Miller Lite's media budget by 50 percent between May and August to support television advertising as well as ads for print and on Facebook, Pandora Media Inc. and Yahoo Inc.'s fantasy sports. He did not disclose the dollar amount being spent on the advertising campaign.
Molson Coors, which has a 42 percent interest in MillerCoors, ended the year with a solid fourth-quarter report that highlighted the brewer's higher prices and push into emerging markets like China. However, consumers' increasing interest in craft beer and other spirits has impacted volume growth of major U.S. brews, the report added.
Miller Lite's domestic sales to retailers declined in each quarter of last year, and Molson Coors President and Chief Executive Peter Swinburn recently told Dow Jones the brand has underperformed for about three years.
Swinburn said when viewing the company's core brands, Molson Canadian, Carling and Coors Light "are in strong positions and we need to prove we can do that with Miller Lite."
He added the total alcohol market is growing domestically due to stronger demand for wine and spirits, though beer demand isn't improving. "People are choosing alcohol for certain occasions that beer isn't satisfying and we need to understand that and address it," he said.
For core brands like Miller Lite, marketing is heavily focused on television spots, major team sponsorships, retail programming and digital ads. Miller Lite's new campaign will include redesigned packaging that will begin to hit shelves starting in mid-August. For the 11 NFL teams that Miller Lite has a partnership with, including the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears, MillerCoors intends to launch team packaging, according to the news outlet.