Oh, did we forget to mention that sometimes there are loopholes in those little exclusivity deals A-B signs?
MillerCoors couldn't buy national ads during the Super Bowl thanks to A-B, but it scooped up 15 seconds of regional commercials for its Redd's Apple Ale malt beverage that's launching in February. According to
, MillerCoors bought time in the Great Lakes and Southeast regions to tout its answer to Mike's Hard Lemonade,
Twisted Tea brand and the growing hard cider market. The MillerCoors spot doesn't call out A-B, but just getting it on air is a coup after Coors Light dethroned Budweiser as the nation's No. 2 beer brand last year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev still controls roughly 47% of the U.S. beer market, according to
Beer Marketers Insights
. MillerCoors is second with 28.4% of the market. Their grip on the market is slipping, however, as each saw production decrease by 3% between 2010 and 2011. Budweiser, in particular, slid from 9.3% of the market in 2009 to just 8.4% today as Coors Light jumped to an 8.7% share -- trailing only Bud Light's 19% stake.
MillerCoors's Super Bowl buy isn't big, but it's the little things that are keeping it alive in its battle with A-B.