- An "astonishing" amount of change;
- A host of distractions;
- Companies whose specific mission is to disrupt the beer industry;
- Amazon's move to purchase Whole Foods;
- Ongoing government investigation of aluminum-industry pricing;
- Self-serving icons (from craft brewers) touting so-called independence;
- "Internal assassins" (craft brewers) being critical of the beer industry;
- Brewers who are also in the wine and spirits businesses.
Quite a list of the sorts of forces MillerCoors is fond of calling "headwinds" whenever they need to explain away poor performance to Wall Street.
But missing from the list is what the CEO thinks is ailing one of his largest bonds, Miller Lite. For that placing of blame, we turn to the brewer's marketing honcho. So what does he think has been missing?
"We have the right brand purpose, the right brand world and the right creative to bring it all together. Now we have the right team in place to capitalize on the opportunity in front of us,"
To get that "right team" in place, the marketing guy pulled an oft-used ploy, yanking a blame-rabbit from his marketing magician's hat. We've seen this trick over and over.
In fact, a loyal reader of this blog shared with us what he believes is the definitive number of such blame-rabbits pulled out of that Miller Lite hat over just the last three decades. Normally we avoid mentioning ad-agency names believing they're inconsequential in our stories, and to avoid stroking already overblown agency egos. But we're about to violate that self-imposed editorial rule.
Unless the real responsibility for all that failure--the place where the vast majority of all the blame belongs--is somewhere else. Could it be where Miller Lite's ad strategies are approved? Where what's to be said about the beer is identified and championed? Where every ad must be blessed before it runs? Where not a single marketing dollar is spent without a sign-off? Where a marketing honcho's supposed to be sharp enough to demand and approve only the best ads?