Miller’s “Time” Seems to be the Seventies

miller lite

Anchorman 2 came out December 18, 2013.  The movie served as a platform for numerous endorsements, one of which was for Miller Lite.  Linked with the movie premiere, Miller-Coors, maker of Miller Lite, released throwback cans of Miller Lite.  This campaign was supposed to be short-lived but it was met with such overwhelming success that Miller decided to make it the staple of their 2014 marketing campaign.

This nostalgia-based marketing strategy is a very simple concept.  People who lived through the seventies remember the design of the can and it reminds them of fond memories from their past.  It has also been met with great success among millenials.  An increasing trend among 20-30 year old consumers is emphasis on heritage and authenticity.  To put it simply, this can provides a glimpse into a time period that they never lived in but have romanticized.

Miller Lite became the first lite beer when Miller-Coors obtained the trademark for their beer in 1972.  Their original campaign, which the current one mirrors, was successful as well.  It was based around the slogan “tastes great, less filling”, which Ad Age named the 8th best campaign of the 20th century.  Their 2014 campaign is not identical however.  For the new campaign, they are focusing on the credentials of the beer by appealing to its history, authenticity, and pilsner qualities.  They cannot exactly mirror their campaign from 1973 because lite beer is no longer an innovative idea.  The market is flooded with lite beer options so they plan to tout the fact that they were the pioneers and give millenials the feeling that this is what your parents drank.

The numbers show just how successful this campaign has been.  In the two years leading up to its release, Miller Lite had been losing steam.  Market share for the company dropped 6.9% in 2012 and 6.5% in 2013.  A change was necessary, and after one was made sales increased 4.7% in the first quarter this year.

Ryan Gill


Crouch, Ian. “It’s Miller Tyme – The New Yorker.” The New Yorker. N.p., 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <;.

Lockwood, Dennis. “Miller Lite Throwback Can Sales Lifting Overall Brand Sales.”Milwaukee Business Journal. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <>.

Schultz, E.J. “How 1970s-Era Cans Are Making Miller Lite Groovy Again | CMO Strategy – Advertising Age.” Advertising Age CMO Strategy RSS. N.p., 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <;.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.