The new competitive ads by DDB Group, which will air on television, digital and social channels starting March 21 during the college basketball tournament, “take consumers out of Bud Light’s fantasy world.”
“We all love a good fantasy, but people drink beer in the real world. And in the real world, more taste is what matters,” says Anup Shah, vice president of the Miller Family of brands. “So while Anheuser-Busch is living in a fantasy world, we’re focused on making sure people here in the real world know Miller Lite has more taste, fewer calories and half the carbs of Bud Light.”
Supported by Miller Lite’s highest two-week media investment of the year — and one of its largest ad buys ever during the basketball tournament — the spots make good on the pledge Shah made recently to distributors to amp up competitive messaging against Bud Light.
Set in a fictitious medieval kingdom, but from the other side the camera, the spots pierce the veil between fantasy and reality, with cameras rolling after the director’s cut. Each of the spots concludes with the actors and crew on the Bud Light set heading back to a hospitality tent where they pass over Bud Light in favor of a post-wrap Miller Lite.
The first spot, called “Aftermath,” starts with an overhead shot of a medieval knight and fellow villagers lying in a scorched field, flames still burning around them.
An off-camera director yells “Cut!” as crew move into the screen and snatch a drone shooting the scene. The knight, playing dead, rises, removes his helmet, dons eyeglasses and tousles his hair before retiring with fellow actors and crew to a tent to relax.
The actor playing the knight walks by a refrigerator stocked with Bud Light to reach inside another filled with cans of Miller Lite. As he cracks one open, he exchanges pleasantries with the director and another staffer, who also open Miller Lites. “In the real world more taste is what matters,” flashes on the screen. “More taste and half the carbs of Bud Light.”
A second 30-second spot called “Snow” is set in the same medieval kingdom, labeled as “Ye Old Bud Light Fantasy Land.” It depicts two peasants restrained in wooden stocks, each with Bud Light bottles in their hands.
But as the set’s snow machine malfunctions, the director wraps the shoot for the day and the cast and crew head back to the hospitality tent where the men reach for Miller Lite instead of Bud Light. They are shown at the end of the shoot relaxing in director’s chairs, still bedecked in their peasant outfits, with Miller Lite in hand.
The brand also will air 15-second and 6-second spots that hammer the same message.
“This new creative takes our message to the next level, “ Shah says. “Bud Light’s sales continue to decline and Miller Lite continues to pick up share among American light lagers. We are confident that our competitive advertising highlighting the positive attributes of Miller Lite is working.”