Miller Lite stages a ‘Running of the Beers’ for Super Bowl - Brand Innovators

Miller Lite stages a ‘Running of the Beers’ for Super Bowl

Miller Lite is giving consumers a chance to be part of their Super Bowl advertising … sort of. 

Rather than spending $7 million for a 30-second commercial spot during the game, the brand taking a ground-level approach by distributing one thousand special jerseys with special QR codes to serve as advertisements at parties and gatherings. 

Beginning February 1, fans (25 and up) will be able to register online, with the first 1,000 eligible fans winning a “Big Game Ad kit,” which includes the official “Miller Game Time Jersey” and $100 as payment for serving as a literal walking advertisement. During the Super Bowl, the fans can go on “beer runs” to the kitchen or elsewhere. As they do, those nearby can scan the QR code that is part of the brand’s logo on the jersey for a chance to win additional “beer money” and prizes distributed by the brand. 

“This is one of the largest beer-selling moments of the year, and Miller Lite has a history of taking the spotlight in unexpected ways during the Big Game,” said Ann Legan, vice president of marketing, Miller Family at Molson Coors. “Miller Lite is taking the idea of “running an ad” and flipping it on its head by inviting everyday fans to become “running ads” themselves for the Big Game – whether it’s a lap around their living room or a sprint to the fridge for more Miller Lite.  We want to get people excited, get beer in hands and invite them to participate in the ad with us.”

To promote the marketing program, the brand has enlisted actor, comedian and football fan Rob Riggle to serve as “lead runner” and serve as an advertising spokesman. In the spot, Riggle, in body paint looking like a Miller Lite logo,  leads a pack of runners (including one man in a hot dog costume) wearing the jerseys. In a voiceover, Riggle explains the program in a voiceover. “While most big game ads give you explosions and talking animals, Miller Lite is giving you what you really want: free beer,” Riggle says. The spot ends with a fan scanning Riggle’s jersey in a bid for his own beer money, and onscreen text directs fans to the website. 

“As a longtime Miller Lite lover and a huge football aficionado, it just made sense” to use Riggle, Legan said. “The campaign is the perfect meld between Rob’s love of football, beer and comedy – plus he isn’t scared of a little body paint. In homage to all those diehard fans who paint themselves in their team colors for game time, Rob was down to do the same for Miller Lite when it comes to the Big Game and become the ultimate ‘running’ beer ad. And we are so glad he did!”

After years of being blocked from advertising during the Super Bowl due to an exclusivity contract with rival Anheuser Busch, Molson Coors ran an ad during last year’s game that asked fans to bet on which of its beer brands – Miller Lite or Coors Light – would be featured in the ad. (In the end, the company’s Blue Moon brand won the spot in a tongue-in-cheek twist.) This year, Molson Coors will feature Coors Light during the game, with Miller taking this more grass-roots approach. 

“With Coors Light owning the North America TV spotlight across the US and Canada, Miller Lite is taking it to the streets with our fans turning into literal beer ads that give away free beer money,” Legan said. “While the brands are taking very different approaches for the Big Game, both successfully get beer lovers invested and involved. For years Molson Coors has specialized in unexpected 360 campaigns when it comes to activating around the Big Game like last year’s High Stake Beer Ad, and this year, the company continues to innovate beyond traditional ad spots to entice fans and excite distributors.”