Can a memorable marketing campaign get shelved if it isn't moving products?
That is the question I would pose to the cast of colorful characters that Miller Brewing assembled for its crafty "Man Law" ads. I know the answer, too. Earlier this week in Beer Business Daily, Miller's CEO revealed that the company is pulling the plug on the ads.
The spots certainly worked their way into pop culture. With folks like Burt Reynolds, Jerome Bettis, and Jimmy Johnson arguing about how long a man must wait before dating his best friend's girlfriend or the appropriate way to handle beer bottles, the ads are priceless. Unfortunately, they just weren't helping the brewer move more bottles of Miller Lite.
That may be bad news for Molson Coors
The new spots play off the incorrect spelling of "light" on the Miller brand, with the argument that the labels spelled with the "GHT" at the end are inferior. Yes, it's a little rough around the edges, but you have to give ad campaigns some room to grow. The original "Man Law" ad may not have won you over right away, either.
Still, it's hard to watch a pro football game these days without seeing one of the "offense" signs that were inspired by one of the "Man Law" ads. The "Men of the Square Table" were looking to replace the tired old "defense" sign -- the classic letter "D" and a white picket fence -- with an offensive spin, in which the "D" was replaced by a giant light switch in the "off" position.
That movement also seems to be playing out in the Miller board room. No more defense. It is time to show the offense some love by going on the attack.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really enjoyed the ManLaws.com microsite and hopes that Miller won't kill it along with the campaign. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.