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Miller targets Hispanic markets with new TV.

AP--Miller Brewing Co., the nation's second-largest brewer, is targeting Texas, southern California and other Hispanic markets with new television ads for its largest brand, Miller Lite. Miller's new Lite ads include several Spanish-language spots, some with well-known Hispanic celebrities: boxer Fernando Vargas and the Tejano band the Kumbia Kings.

"The idea is to create our communications, our advertising, to speak to a multicultural audience," said Robert Mikulay, Miller's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

"It begins with a recognition of what's going on in the U.S. population, with the explosive growth of the Hispanic population."

Miller's wholesale distributors got a preview of the ads, which debut this month, at their national sales conference in Orlando, Fla.

Spanish-language ads have become a staple in recent years for U.S. brewers that advertise on Univision and other cable networks with Latino audiences. "Miller is trying very hard to impact their business in Texas, and probably secondarily, in California," said Steve Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Miller Brands of Milwaukee. "It's really important to them."

Texas is the nation's second-largest beer market after California, according to industry statistics compiled by Miller.

Mikulay said Miller executives were pleased with the company's 3.2 percent sales volume increase during the fourth quarter of 2001 but had concerns about Miller's performance in certain markets.

Miller sold 16 million barrels of Lite in 2001, a slight drop from 2000.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 18, 2002
Words:236
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