Amanda Clements Joins NOISE as Vice President, Director of Strategic Branding
October 2, 2018
Hocking: Over and Back Violation.
April 25, 2016
Ashley Burns Joins NOISE Inc. as Senior Brand Experience Leader
November 7, 2018
Branding: The Colonel is dead, long live the Colonel.
September 21, 2015
It was sometime in the mid 1980s (yes, a lifetime for some of you) that I was sitting in a bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 5 PM with Alan Easton, then Director of Corporate Communications for Miller Brewing Company. I had gotten to know Alan a few years earlier, when he interviewed me for the Director of Public Relations position at MBC (a job I was not offered, which led to me forming my own agency).
But Mr. Easton seemed to have a goodly respect or like for me, and we stayed in touch and met occasionally to shoot the bull. On this particular day, we were discussing the recent decision by Miller to can the ubiquitous "It's Miller Time" slogan for something I can't remember, and neither can you. Over a Miller Lite, I asked Alan why he would abandon such an iconic phrase that had etched its way into American lexicon (and at least one super movie, "Ghostbusters.")
His response? He panned his hand to present the crowded bar to me and noted: "Everybody who walks in here says 'It's Miller Time,' and half of 'em order something else."
I didn't understand the logic of throwing an iconic phrase into the garbage then, and apparently, after years of trying to replace it, neither did today's Miller Coors marketing leaders. For not only is "It's Miller Time" back, so is the original Lite beer artwork. The early returns? In some markets, 18% and higher growth.
Some argue it's "old school" for millenials, while nostalgia for boomers. I'd argue it was iconic advertising and branding that was so spot on, it couldn't be replaced or updated.
Now along comes this thing recently called KFC, but now "rebranded" Kentucky Fried Chicken. And just like the folks at Miller Coors, Kentucky Fried Chicken is bringing back packaging from the past — in this case, with a resurrected Colonel Sanders.
While this one feels a little weird with its reincarnation, the agency is to be commended for great casting and makeup, quality writing and crisp production. Anything less and this campaign would've quickly veered off the road and crashed, taking the Colonel once again into the great unknown.
The campaign is not without its detractors and "outraged consumers," but sales reports are up 5% since the Colonel returned from the dead. Again, targeting millenials and boomers with, again, an iconic figure and campaign.
It isn't every day that an agency and client get to create something that not only endures decades of success, but becomes part of the American fabric. At NOISE, the closest we've come is the 10-year run of our brand promise — "Shouldn't Every Day Be This Good?" — for Captiva Island, Florida resort client 'Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa, a property of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts (a NOISE client for 11 years).
As I see it, the staying power of any campaign is that it's born and bred in truth — a truth that connects and resonates with audiences, on a variety of emotional, intellectual and experiential levels. Let the buyer who messes with such a perfect marketing storm beware.