Miller Lite’s Cantroller – the first ever beer can, video game controller

Miller Lite: , , , , ,

Challenge


Esports isn’t a traditional drinking occasion and Miller Lite is not something you’d commonly associate with gaming. The brand had created the first-ever beer can that is also a video game controller (The Cantroller) but had no idea how to introduce this new product to gamers in an authentic way.

Insight

We convinced Miller Lite to aim to be the biggest fan in the space, rather than the expert. Other brands failed in gaming because they activated with arrogance, trying to come off as endemic to the space. We had to show up as supportive fans and simply elevate the gaming experience for all, proving an authentic value-add to the community at large.

Rather than simply drop a new piece of gaming technology into the laps of gamers, we knew we would have to create a community gathering space that would make gamers proud and lean into It’s Miller Time’s come-as-you-are brand persona.

Idea

A product drop fit for the gaming community. We knew this couldn’t be a simple drop – it had to be a gaming experience at its core. So we turned the evening into a celebration that was a gaming tournament in structure, with Jack designing the LDA-compliant games, the tournament structure, and using the Cantroller as a prize mechanism.

We activated around gaming’s biggest event, E3 in LA, and brought gamers into our after-hours Cantroller Lounge to battle it out for a chance to take on Eric Andre himself, on stage, with a live stream to Twitch, all for the chance to walk away with a Cantroller and eternal fame.

Experience

We were tasked with creating a launch event surrounding the Miller Lite Cantroller. We had eight total weeks to produce the event, including securing a venue for 350 people within walking distance of E3.

There were four gaming dens throughout the space where attendees could compete for a chance to play celebrity talent, Eric Andre, as well as walk away with their very own Cantroller (a $1000 value).

It was Miller Lite’s first time ever activating around an esports event. To that end, they leaned on us as experts for tournament design structure, suggested games, legal compliance, live stream logistics, and, of course, environmental design.

The Cantroller itself was a proprietary, newly-developed technology containing next-gen Bluetooth communication, a rechargeable battery unit, and an integrated button pad all on a base unit less than an inch thick, capable of integrating with any Mac or PC running Stream games online and off. In addition, the show calling and live streaming were conducted simultaneously to create an experience not only for attendees in the venue itself, but also for all the people viewing the event online on Twitch.

We had a dedicated technical director that was in charge of the live stream only, knowing how complex it would be to conduct a live show online to half a million viewers. We used the highest quality gaming computers to run our stage and den game play including Corsair One i160 Gaming, Dell Inspiron Gaming, Corsair Vengeance and Dell G5.

Impact

The results speak for themselves. Our launch garnered over 600K online viewers in a mere four hours. That’s 20,000% more than the average Twitch Street Fighter stream.

We also broke through the noise with over 641 million impressions during a time when share of voice is at its most competitive.

 Additional agency/vendor/supplier credits: ICF Next, DDB, Connect, Unit 9 (produced Cantrollers). Creative Technologies (AV), Plum Precision (Lighting), Prism DJ (entertainment), SO Group Realty (venue), Bel Air Internet (Internet service), Event Technologies LTD (custom app), Jay’s Catering Co (catering), Super Color Digital (signage).