It’s happy hour in Chicago as beer returns to DDB

DDB Chicago, which has a storied history of creating award-winning work for beer brands — Anheuser-Busch to be specific — is ready to break out the beer steins again as Miller Lite consolidated its brand within the network.

As many industry pundits had predicted, DDB Chicago will be global AOR for Miller Lite and Adam&Eve. DDB will handle Miller Genuine Draft. The decision follows a formal creative review among several competitors.

Miller Lite was handled by 180LA and Juniper Park over the previous year. In that time, the brand did not achieve the level of popularity that DDB created for Bud and Bud Light during an award winning, turn-of-the-millennium era that included “Real Men of Genius,” “Whassup,” and Spuds McKenzie.

Here’s the internal memo from CMO Dave Kroll, who recently returned from medical leave.

Achieving our growth imperative and ensuring that MillerCoors becomes First Choice for Customers and Consumers requires strong performance from our American Light Lagers. We’ve made great progress over the past couple of years, but still have work to do.

Miller Lite recently celebrated its 10th straight quarter of share growth. In order to accelerate our momentum, it’s imperative that we have the strongest team possible on board. Starting this week, we are consolidating the Miller Lite creative responsibilities at DDB Chicago. This transition will be seamless as we are keeping the business within the Omnicom family. We are moving some of the best creative talent from our previous agencies 180LA and Juniper Park, into a new team at DDB in order to have a best-in-class creative and planning team. DDB has made great strides on the digital side of the Miller Lite business over the last month, and we feel confident that this expanded team will keep the brand on its positive trajectory.

In addition to consolidating the U.S. Miller Lite creative business, we will also be strengthening our relationship with DDB by moving global creative for Miller Genuine Draft to DDB’s London-based agency Adam & Eve.

In an increasingly competitive industry, it’s crucial that we reward agency partners that share our commitment and vision for the future. We have the right brand purpose, the right brand world and the right creative to bring it all together. Now we have the right team in place to capitalize on the opportunity in front of us.



According to an article in AgencySpy, the Miller Lite review saw DDB Chicago beat out the L.A. offices of 180, BBH and CP+B for the business. It’s currently unclear which agencies, if any, competed against Adam&EveDDB for the other account.

Just over two months ago, MillerCoors moved digital creative duties on the Miller Lite brand from DigitasLBi Chicago to DDB, apparently without a review. Since then, MillerCoors reps have declined on more than one occasion to confirm that they would be consolidating the account with DDB.

The parent company spent $130 million promoting Miller Lite in the U.S. last year and $27 million in Q1 2017.

Beer is back where it belongs — at DDB. Cheers.

Follow Dan Patton on Twitter @danpatton.