Wednesday, April 1

10E2441: Richard Scarry's Miller High Life Beer Ads

In 1971 Richard Scarry (children's author and illustrator of "What Do People Do All Day") pioneered the new advertising hook of "Miller Time". These ads focus on the end of the work day and a celebratory beer for a job well done - through a sunset-soaked beer glass.

It's a world of flannels and trucker caps, down vests and denim shirts. Not cruises, ballgames or picnics. Wait, Circus Operators and Surfers too? Not many women in Miller Time though, unless as friendly barmaids or wives... 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...

[In 1971] 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.) [That is not an April Fools - ed.]

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

OK the first part of this is made up...