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Marketing

Cause for Celebration

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It’s not uncommon for brands to seek out opportunities to cash in on events that resonate with their tradition. MillerCoors did just that using a new beer, Batch 19, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

Prohibition officially ended on Dec. 5, 1933, when Utah became the 36th state to approve the 21st Amendment. To mark the anniversary of Repeal Day, MillerCoors created a campaign that included signage, in-store sampling and bar parties at which brand representatives donned historical clothing like flapper outfits. One poster encouraged drinkers to celebrate Repeal Day because “without it, you’d be drinking swill.”

Advertising Age spoke with Libby Mura, senior marketing director at Tenth and Blake, the craft and imports division for MillerCoors. Batch 19 wanted to “own the holiday,” Mura said, adding that the brand had a unique claim on the event because it is crafted from a pre-Prohibition recipe. The formula was uncovered in 1998 after the basement of a Coors brewery in Golden, Colo., flooded and a brewer discovered an old recipe logbook buried in a cabinet. MillerCoors used one of the formulas inside for Batch 19, which was introduced in 2010. The name refers to 1919, the year Prohibition was instituted.

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