Miller’s Beer For The People QR Code Starts SXSW Work

South By Southwest Super Sponsor Miller Lite has revived last year’s ‘Beer for the People’ campaign at the 2012 festival.


The Super Sponsor has been providing beer and badges for attendees for over a decade and its annual SXSW badge and wristband giveaway Beer For The People initiative is becoming something of a SXSW tradition.


This year’s initiative kicked off with a prominent advert in the SXSW Magazine, which was sent out to current and previous ticket holders, which was dominated by a Miller Lite QR code. The code linked to a pre-event web-based competition (with tickets as prizes).


The in-event wristband work activates during the festival itself.


2012 sees the brand in its 12th year as the official beer of SXSW, which Miller claims reflects its long term commitment to the event and to connecting its values to the new creative thinking and best in music, film and digital technologies.


Our favourite piece of Miller Lite work at SXSW was back in 2010 when the brand actually got directly involved in the true spirit and purpose of the event with its Speed Dating event. This saw Miller Lite’s VP of brand marketing and the head of creative at Digitas invite content creators to pitch their ideas for Miller communication via a classic six-minute speed dating format.



On the music side of the 2012 festival, Miller added a social element to its work this year with sponsored giveaways and downloads from Pandora, Spotify and other music platforms in the weeks leading up to the festival itself.


Miller Lite also teamed up with mobile app RoqBot to help attendees program the music at local bars and restaurants around Austin.


Further activation is running across the brand’s Facebook page and, of course, Miller Lite’s festival-wide rights also ensure the beer is available at every official SXSW party and venue.


Even its sister brand Miller Genuine Draft joined in the SXSW festivities in 2012 by partnering with Spin magazine for its annual showcase at Stubb’s via a concert poster-themed photo booth promotion.


Miller Genuine Draft used the event to launch its new product variant – MGD Aluminium Pint.




Miller Lite and SXSW go a long way back – 12 years in fact. This certainly shows its commitment to an event that has grown beyond recognition during that sponsorship period.


According to the beer brand, this is an alliance rather than a sponsorship.


“We have a Partnership, not a Sponsorship,” says MillerCoors marketer Brad Nadal.


“Miller Lite isn’t the longest standing SXSW partner without reason: It’s a back and forth relationship that works together to bring the best of both to the forefront of the consumer. SXSW allows us to go above and beyond what we think is possible and position ourselves amongst great brands, great entertainment, imaginative programming – creating enduring relationships with our most coveted consumers.”


Its rights range from planning support and targeting help from the organisers, category exclusivity, logo and name usage, onsite and digital visibility, on-site association and integration opportunities and potential editorial coverage benefits.


But is its ‘Beer For The People’ activation really dovetailing with the innovative thinking and creative philosophy that lies at the heart of the event?


Surely SXSW is all about being new and original – not doing what you did last year with added bells and whistles.


Furthermore, to understand this year’s QR code magazine ad either seems to require some knowledge of last year’s campaign as the explanation/detail is in small print in the corner of the execution.


Also, even the website the code took users too lacked something in terms of up-front explanation and clarity. Not least the fact that the competition was only open to those in a handful of states local to SXSW.


Also, the competition prizes included SXSW entry tickets, which seemed odd for an ad in a magazine distributed largely to existing ticket holders and sent out fairly close to the festival start date so allowing for little time to book any necessary travel and accommodation.











Leave a comment


Featured Showcases

Leave a comment