NEW YORK - Leaders from MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch and other major beer marketers are meeting this week to figure out how to boost the reputation of beer among Millennial drinkers, Advertising Age reports.
Beer shipment volumes have dropped for three straight years through 2011, according to Beer Marketer€™s Insights. For the 52 weeks ending May 26, volumes fell 0.3%, compared with a 3.2% lift in spirits volume, according to Nielsen.
While the beer industry has yet to finalize a plan, there is a consensus that beer needs to emphasize its positioning as the beverage of moderation, which Paul Chibe, Anheuser-Busch vice president of marketing, suggested is a "distinct advantage" over liquor.
The last major beer image campaign, called "Here€™s to Beer," was launched in 2006. It was led by Anheuser-Busch and endorsed by the Beer Institute. It fell apart as AB was not able to recruit competitors with the broadcast and online elements, who rightly figured that AB would pay for the campaign anyway.
Bob Lachky, a former chief creative officer for AB, said based on that failed effort, he was skeptical competing brewers would ever unite in a significant way. "...[I]f a majority of members don't want to put money up for something that they think is going to benefit one guy vs. the other, nothing is ever going to happen," he said.