Call it a teachable moment.
Mistake #1: Irrelevant and not-all-that-unexpected ideas
The creative notion, such as it is, in both ads is the same: Star-power as idea. But in neither case is the chosen star--James Bond or the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback--in any way particularly relevant to the beer brand. And the only unexpected part of the advertising concerns the star and his performance; in no way is it related to the beer. Truth is, in both ads, the beer is just a prop. Any beer would do.
Without going back to view the two videos again, ask yourself: What fact about Heineken or Miller Lite was featured in the ads? The answer: There isn't one.
The only reason to run advertising at all is to cause folks to choose your brand over others. Can't the executives at MillerCoors and Heineken find anything provocative to say about their beer? Or maybe they just think television ads are too limited to get across a fact-based message about the beer.
If so, how to explain these fact-based product messages in the most confining advertising medium of them all, outdoor billboards?
The ad-agency people who create television ads are famous--"notorious" might be a better word--for choosing entertainment value over selling-message content. Just look where their industry's awards go. But ad-aency people don't approve and pay for ads; their clients do. So, for every ineffective beer ad, there is a top beer-marketing executive who blessed it.
Last week, Anheuser-Busch's ceo, Carlos Brito, publicly addressed the brewer's marketing. In a moment of complete candor, he admitted Bud Light's declining fortunes were "our fault." And he promised the brand's new ads would be "revolutionary."
He's absolutely correct on his first point. On "revolutionary"... well, we'll just have to wait and see. After all, Brito once said Bud Light's unremarkable and failed "Up for Whatever" campaign had "lots of mileage."
Fortunately, we have a checklist ready to spot ads with serious mileage.