MillerCoors names former Kraft Heinz exec as first-ever female CMO
- MillerCoors has named Michelle St. Jacques as its new CMO, the company announced in a blog post. St. Jacques, who will be MillerCoors' first-ever female CMO, was most recently SVP and global head of brands and capabilities at Kraft Heinz. St. Jacques is taking over the role on Feb. 4. MillerCoors' previous CMO David Kroll departed in July.
- MillerCoors is ramping up its marketing investment in 2019 as a result of "massive changes in media consumption patterns," according to the blog. The company plans to focus on digital and non-traditional media, and is increasing investment on streaming platforms, digital and social media, long-form content and experiences to expand its reach.
- MillerCoors launched a new Coors Light ad campaign late last year, is investing heavily in Miller Lite, is doubling its media spend behind Blue Moon while focusing investments on above-premium brands Henry's Hard Sparkling, Peroni and Cape Line.
The hiring of St. Jacques could be a crucial move for MillerCoors, as the brewer seeks to engage a new generation of beer drinkers through digital and non-traditional marketing channels. St. Jacques is credited for leading multi-year growth at Kraft Heinz, where she headed creative and brand-building campaigns for the company's product portfolio, including the popular "Swear Like a Mother" campaign for Kraft Mac & Cheese and Heinz's "Weiner Stampede" Super Bowl spot in 2016.
Tapping its first-ever female CMO is a significant move for a major brand like MillerCoors. Women represent 45% of CMOs at the Association of National Advertiser's member companies, while 67% of client-side members are women, according to ANA. The organization launched a gender equality initiative #SeeHer in 2017 to provide advertisers with tools and data to make better gender equality decisions in campaigns.
MillerCoors is hoping St. Jacques' innovative and progressive approach can help revive its beer brands. St. Jacques joins the brewery at a time when Americans are drinking less beer, and MillerCoors' biggest brand Coors Light has seen sales fall. Coors Light dollar sales in stores dropped 3.9% for the 52-week period ending Nov. 30, according to Nielsen data referenced by Ad Age.
MillerCoors' plans to invest more heavily in digital aligns with a trend that most marketers are also embracing, as they strive to reach younger consumers who can be reached best on non-traditional platforms. In 2019, 64% of marketers plan to increase their digital marketing budget "marginally" in 2019, with 24% plan to increase budgets significantly, according to recent Ascend2 research.