Coors Light Makes Marketing Shift After Ads Got Too Serious

Coors Light Makes Marketing Shift After Ads Got Too Serious 642 428 C-Suite Network
Credit: MillerCoors

Coors Light will talk more about its beer and less about human achievement as it seeks to reverse a sales slump. The ad shift—which includes more emphasis on its classic “World’s Most Refreshing Beer” tagline— is another sign of a burgeoning backlash against highbrow ads that have very little to do with the products marketers are trying to sell.

Coors Light has traditionally been associated with fun advertising that pushes a its Rocky Mountain cold refreshment image with visuals like cold party trains.

But in 2016 the brew got serious, rolling out a campaign called “Climb On” that sought to build emotional bonds with drinkers by portraying people overcoming challenges. Or as executives described it, “climbing their personal mountains.”

The effort, however, did not not send the brand climbing. Quite the opposite: Coors Light shipments fell 4.1 percent in 2017, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. So now the beer is going going back to its roots, with more product-focused ads carrying an upbeat tone and plenty of images of its Rocky Mountain birthplace.

“We all know that 2017 was a rough year for us,” says Ryan Marek, VP of marketing for the Coors family of brands at MillerCoors. Ads “focused too much on overcoming challenges and it became serious and it became staid.” That, he says, is at odds with the high-energy and optimistic tone the brand has traditionally embraced. “We know that when we celebrate our beer and when we celebrate our positioning as the ‘world’s most refreshing beer,’ it resonates very well with people.”

The new work by creative agency-of-record 72andSunny includes…