Friday, April 11, 2008

Fire Your Ad Agency, then Crack Open an MGD

If it weren't sad, it might be funny. A brand in decline. Sales slipping.

"It must be the advertising. Fire the agency. Get a new tagline. Get a new ad."

Yeah, how's the working out for you, Miller Genuine Draft?

Four agencies and eight taglines since 1991, yet sales continue to decline. The problem isn't the "creative." It's that you don't know what you are, what niche you serve and how to pick one position and stick with it until it resonates.

Below, courtesy of Ad Age, are the themelines for MGD for each year, followed first by the name of the agency that did the work, and then by the percentage market share MGD held that year. Strap in:

  • 2001: "Never miss a genuine opportunity"--JWT--2.6%
  • 2002: "Pure MGD"--JWT--2.2%
  • 2003: "Keep what's good"--Ogilvy--2.2%
  • 2004: "Good call"--Ogilvy--2.0%
  • 2005: Various themelines--Martin some, Ogilvy some)--1.8%
  • 2006: "Beer. Grown up."--Martin--1.6%
  • 2007: "Experience is golden"--Y&R--1.5%
So shipments of MGD are down 41%. Guess what they're doing to fix it in 2008? Testing two new themelines!

Yeah, that'll work. Usually I would blame the product, but MGD isn't that bad. In this case I think it's the lack of any sort of brand identity. Calling it MGD was a horrible idea in the first place. And then failing to carve out a brand niche and stick with it is the kiss of death.

Good luck with your new themeline guys. I'll look for the big turnaround...