Coors Light unveils “Made to Chill” campaign

Coors Light today is kicking off a new marketing campaign that aims to recruit more 21- to 34-year-old drinkers to the brand with a theme called “Made to Chill.”

The campaign, developed in partnership with its new agency partner Leo Burnett, taps into the cultural insight that younger legal-age drinkers are actively seeking ways to temporarily check out, or step away from lives spent “always being on and connected, which can be all-consuming and overwhelming,” says Ryan Reis, vice president of the Coors family of brands at MillerCoors.

“We’re trying to give them a moment to chill. It’s not a moment of escape, it’s more about pause, about taking a moment to step back and turn off,” he says. The idea behind the campaign is that “chill” is an everyday occasion, and “there’s no better way to turn off than with the cold refreshment of a Coors Light.”

Coors Light’s new campaign includes national 30-second videos that will air on streaming services and during live TV in programs like Shark Week and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight; a revamped social media presence, in which the brand will spend more money next month than in any other month in its history; a sponsorship of the “Ron Burgundy” podcast; key streaming partnerships with Hulu and YouTube; a new suite of out-of-home and retail displays; and targeted public relations programs targeted at 21- to 34-year-old drinkers. Most will feature the new tagline “Made to Chill.”

“Our move to cold refreshment was well-received, and cold will remain central to Coors Light’s story, but we need to show why cold refreshment matters in our drinkers’ lives,” Reis says. “Cold is the perfect antidote to a world that’s ‘always on’ culture, the renewal that revives you after a long day. And Coors Light is the perfect catalyst for drinkers to have a moment of chill.”

Capturing the 21- to 34-year-old crowd presents a unique challenge. This group of consumers has developed what Reis calls a “beer blindness,” in which they brush aside well-worn attempts by beer companies to reach them.

Because breaking through with drinkers has gotten more difficult amid fragmentation in the media, “we’ve learned that we’ve got to go even further to connect with them,” Reis says. “Drinkers turn away from what they view as typical beer ads, so we have to give these younger legal-age drinkers a reason to reach for a Coors Light.”

The brand is aiming to make inroads with this crowd in part through its new video ads, which represent a stark departure from past Coors Light campaigns, with each taking a slightly edgy or even subversive — narrative approach and focus on individuals or small groups of friends in their 20s using Coors Light as the catalyst for a moment of stepping away.

In one spot, a 20-something guy shimmies in the shower with a cold Coors Light, celebrating the cultural phenomenon known as #showerbeers. In another, a young professional woman returns to her apartment after a long day at work, pushes aside a bottle of white wine in favor of a Coors Light, and proceeds to slump into her couch and remove her bra, tossing it over a vase.

The others feature moments shared among pals incorporating Coors Light into their sports routines, an attempt to show that even sports give drinkers moments of chill, Reis says.

The new campaign also is designed to position the brand to compete not just within American light lagers, a segment that’s struggled, and instead against any consumable people choose when they opt to turn off. The idea is to attract new drinkers and position Coors Light to capture new occasions.

Coors Light continues to pick up share in the premium lights segment, gathering 0.2 points of share year-to-date through July 20, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. Its share performance over the most-recent four weeks is even better, up 0.5 points. The brand still is down 4.6% in case volume year-to-date after a soft 2018.

“At a time when premium lights are challenged, we are growing segment share,” Reis says. “But that’s not enough. I don’t want for us to be considered just in the premium lights box, we want to set our sights higher. Coors Light is not just a light lager, it’s the drink we hope drinkers seek out when they’re looking for a perfect moment of chill. And if we can convince them of that, we are going to get a heck of a lot more young people drinking Coors Light.”