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How Miller Lite boosts brand authenticity via digital, traditional media integration

Miller Lite seeks to fuel brand authenticity in launching the brand?s first user-generated national television commercial, encouraging fans to share their Miller Time photos in a communal celebration of summer.

The visual marketing initiative will allow Miller Lite to insert itself into the consumer beer decision-making process by way of mobile content. The fact that a major TV advertiser such as Miller Lite is getting behind user-generated content points to the growing influence that mobile devices are having not just in the dissemination of ads but in their creation as well.

 ?User-generated content can stimulate awareness and goodwill and create a strong sense of consideration for a brand,? said Scott Lindenbaum, vice president of digital planning direction at Deutsch NY, NY.

?If it is acknowledged and responded to in kind, meaning if a user is going to go out of their way to create content, there is expectation that the brand will create content for the consumer as part of a follow-up on that discussion.?

?Consumers are imagining it not as ?I am a source of content?, but ?this content I create is part of a conversation I am having; I am not just giving them an asset.??

?If the brand does not respond it breaks the goodwill by not engaging them in the conversation, and the ask for UGC may end in a flop in term of good will among users,? he said.

Mr. Lindenbaum commented based on his expertise on the subject and is not affiliated with MilerCoors.

MillerCoors did not meet press deadline.

Tapping commerce from UGC
Rewarding those who tag and tweet a #ItsMillerTime summer moment photo, legal aged fans will compete for a chance to win a spot in the national commercial set to debut this fall.

 Additionally, ten @MillerLite followers who share their best snaps on Twitter will each win $1,000. Ten new winners will be selected every day for 100 days.

Creating, sharing and consuming photos remain a constant with today?s consumers. While social content boasts not only in popularity, it also can prove influential concerning buying decisions.

Following other beer brands who have exemplified this concept, Miller Lite hopes to strengthen brand awareness through real consumer stories, which is an outside-the-box approach to validating users.

Miller Lite parent MillerCoors has been shifting more budget to digital and mobile over the past few years but this strategy exemplifies how digital media is influencing the creative process for traditional media.

Companies enabling brand ambassadors to purvey product knowledge and hype within their own social circles is trending, as these individuals are the ones consumers genuinely relate to and trust.

Collecting, curating and using social content from fans helps marketers power ecommerce and drive sales from sparking a relationship with consumers. The best social campaigns incentivize submission and reward participation much like the #ItsMillerTime promotion.

Because user-generated content wields such power in terms of reach, authenticity and brand relevance, it holds the ability to exponentially drive sales if utilized properly.

The boozy benefits of bottling creativity
The essence of liquid courage means holding on to the intangibly optimistic feeling that life is good. Major beer brands are relying on just this and harnessing the self-assurance and unfiltered opportunities alcohol consumption fosters?or at least in momentary theory.

Blue Moon habitually shares photos of its fans across social media enjoying their favorite brew. The below ?Harvest Moon? campaign is an example of a more formal search for specific content. By raising the question ?who wouldn?t want to be the ?poster child? for their favorite beer?? Blue Moon offers value in social connection.

Manufacturers such as Pabst Blue Ribbon are taking a different approach, seeking to exploit the creative effects its product inspires in consumers. PBR often posts content focused on fan creations made out of the brand?s packaging.

When considering how impact social media and search have been aligning recently, it make sense that marketers integrate them both into their marketing strategies, especially when seeking to achieve visibility amongst a demographic that cares more about what others have to say about a brand than what a brand has to say about itself.

It is of course a real concern to pursue user-generated content as it forces marketers to relinquish control. But because millenials spend a significant amount of their lives online, and were among the first adopters of social media and other communal blogging platforms, they are skilled at differentiating critical content from baseless rant or raves.

Activating brand authenticity
When it comes to competition, many brands, especially those in the food and beverage industry, develop positions based on authenticity when marketing.

The term used to be reminiscent of something genuine; however in recent years it has come to define and instill a product with a set of values that differentiates it from more commercialized and therefore less ?authentic? brands.

Although product innovations will undoubtedly occur, historic brands like MillerCoors ensure consumers their iconic beverages will remain unchanged from the original recipe.

Campaigns such as #ItsMillerTime shift the power of the product to consumers, implying that the brand is going to be here, unmoved, but fans can take that tradition and turn it into something of their own.

?If you?re going to ask for content or data from someone you better be willing to give reward for that. What you give back in that moment, you have to feel that you equal the content that is given,? Mr. Lindenbaum said.

The campaign ties into the relaxation and easy going lifestyle Miller Lite emits, and the ask for UGC fulfills consumer expectation that their recreation of the label?s mantra won?t go unnoticed.

?A process, such as creating a TV commercial is not an idea it is a methodology,? Mr. Lindenbaum said. ?The question is what idea is this articulating for the brand? If it?s going to cause a reconsideration of the brand it has to be about an idea that ladders up in a traditional way about the big brand idea they are trying to accomplish.?

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York