1. Department: Beverage

Miller Lite, New Balance team up on ‘dad shoe’ beer koozie

A “shoezie” merchandise giveaway leans into dad fashion and kicks off the Molson Coors brand’s marketing around Father’s Day.

Dive Brief:

  • Miller Lite this week partnered with New Balance to develop the “Shoezie,” a portmanteau of “shoe” and “koozie,” in celebration of dad fashion ahead of Father’s Day, according to a press release. The duo dubs the merchandise the first “shoe for your beer.”
  • Based on New Balance’s 624 Trainer, the Shoezie is made from the real materials of the shoe, including its leather, color scheme and rubber sole. The item will be available through a sweepstakes giveaway on Father’s Day (June 20) via a Miller Lite microsite.
  • The Molson Coors beer and New Balance will also market the Shoezie on social media using well-known influencer dads. The effort, developed with agency DDB San Francisco, sees Molson Coors staying creative around special events by leveraging quirky limited-edition merchandise — a trend before the pandemic — and updating the tactic for a time when dads may be looking forward to spending more time outside, with a beer close by.

Dive Insight:

Through the Shoezie, Miller Lite is hoping to appeal to the middle-aged men who represent an important cohort of beer drinkers and those who embrace dad fashion, which has become a trend as consumers retro looks. New Balance’s 624 Trainer — the model on which the koozie is based — is referred to as the classic “Dad Shoe” in the announcement. DDB San Francisco organized a modeling session for the Shoezie in which dads were placed in typical dad scenarios, such as cleaning the garage and searing a steak. By combining these elements of dad culture, Miller Lite is taking a lighthearted, relatable approach to Father’s Day, following previous campaigns it’s run around other annual events, including an art installation for work holiday parties and a typing challenge for this year’s Super Bowl.

The tie-up allows Miller Lite to dip into another brand’s pool of consumers. While dads are a key demographic for New Balance, the shoe brand is also a trendy choice for younger generations, and has partnerships with figures like basketball star Kawhi Leonard and rapper Jack Harlow. The Shoezie’s promotion on social channels, using well-known dad influencers and dad fashion enthusiasts, could help to reach young consumers on platforms where they’re already spending time.

Another notable aspect of the campaign is Miller Lite’s use of a microsite to drive its sweepstakes. By requiring entrants to enter personal information such as date of birth and email address in order to participate in the giveaway, Miller Lite is able to gather its own first-party data, something that is growing more valuable for brands as third-party data phases out.

The Shoezie arrives at a time when more people are opening their wallets due to the loosening of pandemic-related economic restrictions. Father’s Day spending is expected to hit $20.1 billion this year, up from last year’s $17 billion and 2019’s $16 billion, the National Retail Federation predicts. As such, brands’ ad spend for Father’s Day campaigns could be poised to increase as well.

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