I've been hesitant to write this blog for the following reasons:
- I love the brands I'm talking about and want them to succeed.
- It goes against my mom's advice of, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
But my frustration level is at orange and I may need a little venting.
Lately, the largest two worldwide brands that represent the fiber of Milwaukee have been slipping a bit in their marketing efforts. And not making big mistakes, but little ones that over time could damage their brands.
The latest Miller Lite campaign is not only lowest common denominator humor, but it panders to them. The "Man Up" television spots employ more than antiquated humor, cheap production qualities and disconnect themselves from the core audience. Now, I understand that Miller Lite is a "jester" brand and needs to appeal to a broad audience. At the heart and soul of any jester brand is the motivation of belonging. So, the group of guys giving each other hell about their masculinity is a solid place to start.
But the execution falls off when the joke is so expected and the thought is completed for us, the audience. Give us some credit as beer drinkers and speak to us on our level. This campaign, in the long run, will come and go like so many before, but it could be so much more effective. Especially at a time when Bud Lite, too, is tanking with their "Here We Go" campaign.
The other brand I want to talk about has done nothing wrong, outside of Elton John, in my eyes. Harley-Davidson broke out a new spot within their "No Cages" campaign that left me wanting well ... nothing. The spot features a biker hooking up leashes to dog cages outside of a pet shop (?) and then pulling the doors off, freeing the dogs.
Dance break: "Who let the dogs out? Who-who-who."
I was semi-shocked at the lack of anything cool about this spot. Now, I do think the Wide Glide in the spot is killer and I would love to ride it this very minute, but honestly, the experience of this didn't ring with me. It wasn't about my freedom. It wasn't about flipping the status quo the bird and going my own way. As a Harley rider, I was a little sad. Especially coming off of their first "No Cages" spot featuring people, cars and city buses in cages until the squeaking of metal is overtaken by a rumbling of a Sportster 1200 Custom. Solid spot. Made me want to ride.
But the dogs ... is a dog.
All due respect to these fantastic brands. Know that I am your evangelist and am happy to drive by your buildings each morning to drop my kids off at school. You can be so much better – even on a stage so broad.
No one in the rest of the country associates Miller with Milwaukee, not even Miller associates itself with Milwaukee. Harley comes closer but it is more America than Milwaukee.
He works in advertising. It's his job to notice things like that. BUT not even remembering if I've seen these spots is a cause for concern regarding their effectiveness.
Isn't the whole ad campaign of light beer and "man up" oxymoronic?
all due respect, but you should try changing the channel. Or, watch things on DVR, and then fast forward. For someone with a "short attention span," your attention stuck to these commercials for 30 seconds.
Totally agree that this is the worst Miller Lite ad campaign in a long time.
Show me the other Talkback
6 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Michael Stodola
Published June 25, 2012
Blogger Michael Stodola is inspired by Milwaukee's glorious summer season to the point of writing a poem!
Published June 22, 2012
So, my Locust Street brothers and sisters, raise your cup of Lakefront, savor that brat and know that we choose to live in and love Milwaukee for many of the same reasons.
Published May 2, 2012
For years now, the ever-popular television series "Mad Men" has entertained, delighted and revealed some fundamental truths about advertising. For the most part, we in the advertising world are impressed with the American Movie Channel's portrayal of our day-to-day. And I believe they've done it again.
Published April 18, 2012
Attraction, as a rule, doesn't ask permission. We, as animals, have no control over whether or not we love crab cakes, or John Coltrane songs, or BMWs.
Published Sept. 30, 2011
There are moments in time when one convention comes to an end and another begins. For instance, in the beginning of the 20th century there was a point where cars outnumbered horses. And within that transition there were a lot uncomfortable changes. Horse traders lost jobs, car dealers got jobs and the smell of horse poop was replaced with exhaust.
Published Sept. 27, 2011
Do a Google search for "1920s baseball crowd" and you'll find some wonderful things: The innocence of a bygone era, a haunting reminder of our mortality and a lot of guys wearing hats. Hats, for crying out loud.
Published May 16, 2011
Travel expands your perspective and gives you a clear appreciation of home.
Published May 15, 2011
Okay, you've been on a car trip. You drive to Indianapolis or Columbus or wherever and when you get out of the car to fill up, the temperature is very different since the last time you were out. Especially driving North to South or vice versa, the temp varies from stop to stop - but NOT on a motorcycle.
Published May 14, 2011
Michael Stodola is on a Harley road trip and today's blog is from Memphis where he attends a BBQ festival. "Memphis in May" is not unlike a Milwaukee Festival except there are hundreds of people busily cooking the best BBQ of their lives.
Published May 13, 2011
As we traveled, I looked forward through our pack and thought about the Harley-Davidson brand. Obviously, I'm staring at seven Harleys with riders wearing Harley gear. It was a constant brand message.