Meet Fred, the bilingual bodega owner who lets Miller Lite flow between Spanish and English

Miller Lite 'Bodega' by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA
Miller Lite 'Bodega' by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

Amid the craft-beer craze, MillerCoors looks to claw back market share with a multicultural strategy

A common complaint about ads courting Hispanics is that the insights targeting the group feel tacked on, as if the demographic were simply a strategic afterthought. For its latest campaign, Miller Lite wanted ads that would effortlessly appeal to both English and Spanish speakers. What the creative team came up with was Fred, a bilingual bodega owner who lets the brand speak two languages at once.

The series of ads, created with TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, features Fred interacting with a menagerie of characters — including a silver man, some beefy twins and a karaoke enthusiast — who stop by the store to buy beer. The ads, which employ light-hearted humor, have different English and Spanish executions with their own storylines, but all feature Fred in the bodega.

Read more: How to appeal to bicultural-bilinguals in a cluttered market

Reaching Hispanic consumers, particularly 21- to 27-year-old Millennials, is "front and center" of the beer brand’s strategy, explains Greg Butler, brand director for Miller Lite. "We need to win with this audience. "If you are not winning with Hispanics in beer, you have a big problem," he said.

"When you dub a general market campaign, or use stereotypical insights, you are not reaching them with a real message," he said.

Besides the bodega being a key channel for Miller Lite target customer, Butler said the store type has the benefit of generally looking the same wherever bodegas are found in the US, making them the perfect setting for the multicultural campaign. The decision to do a single campaign in both English and Spanish was based on the insight that Hispanics in America often consume media in both languages.

The ad campaign uses the tagline "As Long As You Are You, It's Miller Time," which was introduced in March this year, in Miller Lite’s "Wonderful World" ad.

Butler said this campaign marks a return to Miller’s famous "It’s Miller Time" slogan, which was created in the '70s and has been used sporadically over the past few years. It will continue to be a central tenet of the brand’s marketing the in future.

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