Lessons learned from the demise of Miller’s ‘Man Laws’

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:42 pm

    Sometimes a company just gets lucky. Take Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Co., for example. They didn’t need to go through the painful process of firing the agency that came up with the entertaining, but unsuccessful "Man Law" campaign.

    The agency "resigned" the account, citing strategic and creative differences.

    Somewhere along the line, many agencies and the companies that hire them hit upon an incorrect assumption … and it has cost them. That assumption is that being funny sells product … that being clever is somehow going to translate into sales.

    This is another spot-on example of how "killer" creative rarely works. Were the "Man Law" spots funny? Absolutely. Were they memorable? To some degree. Did they meet the company’s needs? No way!
    Maybe they won some creative awards. How nice. But they didn’t help sell Miller’s outstanding product, Miller Lite, which is what marketing is all about.

    All creative doesn’t need to be ugly, although a great number of agencies need to think about how they can "ugly down" their creative and focus on helping their clients do more business.

    Creative needs to work, whether it’s pretty or not. And it’s only part of the story.

    The message is king, not the cute creative. "What’s in it for me?" is what really draws attention and sells product. Ask yourself: "What will make me want to try this beer?" Is it because some group of semi-recognizable celebrities makes jokes? Or is it because of something else … like what’s in it for you?

    "Killer" creative rarely works. Let’s hope more people get that message before the next wave of smarmy political ads comes rolling around!


    Steve Gardner is a public relations account executive at Johnson Direct LLC in Brookfield. Additional information is available at http://johnsondirect.wordpress.com.

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