Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe has devised a bold media strategy and new
brand positioning for Miller Pilsner in a pounds 7 million campaign that
breaks next week.
The agency’s first TV work for the brand involves a three-minute
commercial called ‘Miller time’, which takes the form of an US-style
late-night chat-show. It will be broadcast on Channel 4 and Sky TV every
Friday night for six weeks from 10 November.
The commercials will be trailed by a national poster campaign and a
series of shorter ads on ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. These will introduce
Miller Time and its host, Johnny Miller.
‘Miller time’ was filmed in front of a live audience, and features three
major US stars: Alice Cooper, Anna Nicole Smith and James Belushi.
Other ‘shows’ have guests such as an opera singer and an animal keeper
with a tarantula and cockroaches. Throughout each slot, Johnny Miller
promotes Miller Pilsner through what he admits are ‘shameless marketing
Alice Cooper, the 70s rock star, makes his UK advertising debut in a
mock interview about his pretend obsession with coathangers. Cooper
said: ‘You can get away with much more over here.’
Rainey Kelly, which picked up the Miller Pilsner account in February,
was still getting copy clearance from the Broadcast Advertising
Clearance Centre while the commercials were being filmed.
The shows were made by Talkback Productions, the company behind popular
TV comedies such as Alas Smith and Jones and Knowing Me, Knowing You,
with the comedian Alan Partridge.
BMP DDB Needham created the last major TV campaign for Miller Pilsner in
1991. It ran with the Hollies song, He ain’t Heavy, he’s my Brother, and
featured a typically British hero wearing a pork-pie hat.
Scottish Courage decided it was safe to revert to the beer’s American
heritage for the new campaign because US beer no longer carries the
negative connotations that used to put consumers off.
John Nicolson, the marketing director of Scottish Courage, said: ‘These
ads will have maximum impact and make the brand famous. ’