AOL, MillerCoors Sign Native Ad Pact, 'Brew Pub' Aimed At Male Millennials

Forget banners, pre-rolls or anything that looks like “advertising.” Brands want ownership of “editorial” content -- and with big bucks at stake, publishers are playing along.    
 
Take the new native ad pact between AOL and brewing giant MillerCoors, which is worth about $5 million, according to industry sources.  Per AOL’s deal with Miller, audience data will be fielded from both social media channels and proprietary data from AOL Advertising, said Erika Nardini, AOL Advertising’s CMO.
 
For the effort, AOL has agreed to produce about 350 pieces of original content -- including 100 videos -- before the end of the year. At Miller’s request, each piece will appeal to male millennials, and plug Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, or Redd’s Apple Ale.
 
The editorial content series, officially dubbed the “Brew Pub Newsroom,” will span AOL properties including Huffington Post, Huff Post Live and the male-focused Mandatory.com.
 
Among other integrations, Miller Lite is sponsoring a segment on HuffPost Live titled “Huff Bros Live,” which will feature millennial men and their thoughts on dating, sports and pop culture.
 
The buy is part of a broader strategy by MillerCoors to own publisher content. “Miller is very much interested in content marketing,” Nardini said on Monday. “Native [advertising] is at the core of it.”
 
MillerCoors is hardly the only brand testing publishers’ willingness to blur those lines that have traditionally separated editorial and advertising. Ford, for one, just committed a reported $10 million to sponsor a video series, “This Built America,” which is being produced by AOL and documents the renewal of domestic manufacturing.
 
Alex Linde, senior vice president of monetization for The Weather Co., recently explained brands’ preference for native integrations during a conversation with Social Media & Marketing Daily. As he put it, brands “don’t want to be stuck in a banner ghetto.” As a result, Weather Co. only plans to release native ad units this year, Linde said.

More broadly, J.P. Morgan recently predicted that native formats would take over digital channels, this year.
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3 comments about "AOL, MillerCoors Sign Native Ad Pact, 'Brew Pub' Aimed At Male Millennials".
  1. Sam Simon from Cygnus Business Media , March 18, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.
    I'd be interested to hear people's experience with what side is initiating these partnerships. Is AOL going to MillerCoors with ideas they have for video content that would fit their brand and messaging? Does MillerCoors have a specific idea of the content they want created and looking for a publisher to create it or are they asking publishers for proposals/ideas for content that could be created? I'm sure it's not black and white, but I'm guessing one side versus the other is typically driving this effort and would like to hear about other people's insights and experience related to the development of native advertising packages.
  2. Mark Walker from aka Media Mark , March 19, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
    Miller Coors and Brew Pub are complete disconnects and totally disingenuous. I sincerely hope that anyone who goes there sees this as what it is... and rejects this attempt by multi-national mega-brewers to pass themselves off as craft brewers. SHAME on you AOL , and Miller Coors for this veiled attempt to bait and switch!
  3. Kristen Cosentino from Festpop , March 22, 2014 at 6:23 p.m.
    While MillerCoors and BrewPub may seem to be ahead of their competitors, I have seen this many times before. Brands can get the effect of sponsored content using "native" ads that have been placed into published media (I.e. editorial, images, text, and/or videos.) Vibrant Media has been serving native ads like this for years, and has shown a fairly high ROI with each campaign-- brands can achieve this effect in published media without the massive costs associated with creating original sponsored content. Vibrant Media recently won an award for their innovative native ad serving technology a couple years ago, and have only been evolving their strategy. I think other large brands will soon find that there are less expensive ways to get their message out to target audiences at relevant times when their target audience is likely interested in their ad.