Thursday, June 2

miller time -the beginning

1971 marked the arrival of "Miller Time", and youtuber Oldtimesportsfan has found a motherload of late 70's early 80's Miller High Life ads that read like Richard Scarry's "What Do People Do All Day" through a sunset-soaked beer glass. Pioneering the advertising hook of "Miller Time" these ads focus on the end of the work day and a celebratory beer for a job well done. Wait, Circus Operators and Surfers too? Not many women in Miller time though, unless as friendly barmaids or wives...

It's a world of flannels and trucker caps, down vests and denim shirts not cruises, ballgames or picnics. #wheelhouse. The little snippets of tv before or at the end of the ads are a nice touch. If you've got the time, we've got the beer... Read the below for a little background on how this marketing change happened.
During much of the 1950s and '60s, advertising agencies that handled beer accounts were saddled with a unique dilemma. The average beer drinker (the guy who was unflatteringly dubbed "Joe Six-Pack" by beer marketers), perceived little difference between one domestic brand of beer and another...

Three days in January 1971 changed all that. Beer distributors from around the country converged on Boca Raton, FL, for Miller Brewing Co.'s national sales meeting. The focal point of the gathering was Miller's launch of a nationwide advertising campaign centered on the slogan, "If you've got the time, we've got the beer." A new genre of beer commercial was about to be born.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris had just acquired full ownership of Miller Brewing during the previous year. The company had big plans for Miller, hoping to apply the same advertising strategies to the beer industry that it had used to propel Marlboro cigarettes to the top position within the tobacco industry. (The company even test-marketed "Marlboro Beer" but ultimately shelved it.)

Television, of course, would be Miller's primary means of assault. TV spots for Miller High Life bore a strikingly similar look and feel to Philip Morris' venerable Marlboro Man commercials. The new ads invariably depicted tough and rugged he-men drinking Miller Beer--not because they enjoyed its delicate balance of flavors, not because they fancied the easy-to-open bottle, but because they worked hard all day and, dammit, now it was Miller Time.
-via BeerHistory

After this period came the neon "Miller time" campaign, then the "Made the American way" campaign; not as focused imho but no doubt I'll post them up one day being a completist.