Miller Lite concert series aims to land more Latino drinkers

In front of a sold-out crowd last week at the Fillmore in Miami Beach, international pop star Marc Anthony climbed on stage for a performance alongside Gente de Zona, a Cuban reggaeton group. As they performed, they were flanked with giant cans of Miller Lite and surrounded by fans drinking The Original Light Beer.

Anthony’s surprise appearance at the free show put an exclamation point on the third night of the 18-date concert series produced by Miller Lite as part of Miller Lite Conciertos Originales. The multi-city Latin music series for fans age 21 and older kicked off May 24 in Dallas with Mexican band Banda El Recodo and will run through December with booked acts such as La Séptima Banda and La Adictiva Banda de San José de Mesillas.

It’s the fifth year Miller Lite has held the series, part of its ongoing investment to attract more Latinos.

“To help get Miller Lite to sustainable growth, we know we need to win with Latinos,” says Jonathan Gallagher, who leads Miller Lite’s music and baseball initiatives. “We know music is very important to the general population; it’s even more important to our Latino consumer. Music is something ingrained in their culture.”

While many of these target consumers are light beer drinkers, “Miller Lite is not always in their consideration set,” Gallagher says. “It's extremely important we develop programs that resonate with these drinkers. Miller Lite Conciertos Originales is one of the ways we can build relationships with Latino consumers by inviting them to experience our beer while enjoying their favorite musical acts.”

The typical concert sells out, drawing between 2,000 and 3,500 music fans. The brand reports “great results with the attendees,” Gallagher says. Of Latinos aged 21 to 27 who attended, 90 percent had more favorable views of Miller Lite following the shows, per data collected and analyzed on behalf of the brand. Attendees also reported an 80 percent increase in purchase intent, exceeding industry benchmarks.

Miller Lite this year will expand the series to Phoenix, joining Chicago; Las Vegas; Miami; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; McAllen, Texas; and Irwindale, Calif.

Miller Lite Conciertos Originales is part of a multi-pronged effort to expand the brand’s share among Latinos, “a huge opportunity for Miller Lite,” says Melissa Wagamon, director of marketing for Miller Lite.

If the brand is able to get its “fair share” of the Latino drinker populace (a percentage based on Miller Lite’s share among the general beer-drinking population), it would result in 3.5 million more cases per year, a roughly 1.5 percent bump, Wagamon says.

“What’s working for us is telling that story of Miller Lite having more taste with just 96 calories and 3.2 carbs per (12-ounce) serving,” Wagamon says. “It’s the most-effective thing we can say to men, women, Latinos, non-Latinos. The main point of what we’re doing now is reaching more Latino consumers with that message.”