MGD fuses fashion and music to sway spirit drinkers

The brand hopes the authenticity of a streetwear line and hip hop track will help it compete in a beer-averse nightlife scene.

MGD_campaignMiller Genuine Draft is turning to the fashion world to pull clubgoers away from spirits.

For the brand’s “One of None” campaign, it released branded streetwear designed by urban designer Jeff Staple and produced an accompanying track by Toronto rapper Shaquille Baptiste. The “capsule collection” features black and gold hoodies and tops worn by local influencers in a gritty city milieu in their social posts.

Christian Buer, creative director at agency Sid Lee Toronto, says using fashion and music helps re-position MGD as the beer of choice within the urban nightlife scene.

“People often reach for spirits in the nightlife environment, while associating beer with patios, docks and outdoor occasions,” adds Sophia Lal, brand manager for Miller Genuine Draft at Molson Coors Canada. “This is the perception we’d like to turn on its head.”

Lal says music has been a pillar of the MGD brand for some time, doing things like working with EDM duo The Chainsmokers in 2017 for “Miller SoundClash,” a talent search platform for DJs. With this campaign, she says the brand is going beyond just music to “find focus in urban nightlife” and get the message across.

Lal says the appeal of streetwear within the broader fashion world stems from its authenticity. And with streetwear being as a keystone of culture, she says MGD is asserting its place within it, but doing so in a way that is collaborative and contributing to the culture, instead of just speaking to it.

“A brand can passively show up and position itself where it wants to be seen, or a brand can do something that actively shapes or contributes to what they want to be a part of,” Lal says.

She says the summer release of the street fashion line was not about seasonality as much as it was about curating the pieces that would resonate best with the target audience. The black and gold colour scheme’s resemblance to the Toronto Raptors’ alternate jersey is purely coincidental, Lal says, as these colours have always been part of MGD’s visual identity, “so it was very important for us to bring this through even in the collection.”

The campaign will be running until the end of August on social, online video, Spotify and out-of-home, where ad copy will read more like hip hop verses. Wavemaker handled media, Citizen the public relations and SDI the experiential elements.