Miller Time is back.
A year after Miller Lite paused its revival of the classic campaign that celebrated connecting with friends in person, the beer brand is flipping the switch on a new iteration it’s calling “Beer Me.”
The campaign centers around a series of advertisements – debuting during Saturday’s college basketball games – that feature people in awkward situations they wish they could escape, like meeting the future in-laws and a professional networking event. Then they’re offered a way out in the form of a cold Miller Lite, which transports them to a campfire or a basement, where their friends are hanging out.
The ads end with the tagline, “Your friends are waiting.”
“In those awkward, uncomfortable, inauthentic moments, what if you could grab a Miller Lite to be with your real friends and have some Miller Time?” says Courtney Benedict, senior director of marketing for Miller brands.
“We’re trying to show you that Miller Time, those meaningful moments with your friends where you can just be yourself, is just a Miller Lite away,” Benedict says.
The spots offer a glimpse of normalcy as vaccinations for the coronavirus are in full swing, restaurants and bars begin to open up, and more people return to small gatherings with friends. For Miller Lite, it’s a way to celebrate the key ingredient of the campaign: authentic connection.
“We want people to connect with each other when and how they feel safe and comfortable, following guidelines for gatherings,” Benedict says. “The campaign is a forward-looking, optimistic view of the world, saying there are brighter days ahead when you’re ready, and your friends will be there for you to have those Miller Time moments.”
Benedict says the campaign also seeks to bring humor and fun back into the Miller Lite promotion mix. It builds off a series of cheeky ads taking aim at Michelob Ultra, which promotes itself as the low-calorie beer for the active set. Miller Lite’s “Bobbleheads” ad and a promotion during football’s championship game tout what it says is a worthwhile tradeoff: one extra calorie for more flavor.
“It communicates the brand’s tone of simple, self-aware and honest. Miller Lite is a beer you’d like to have a beer with,” she says.
As Miller Lite looks ahead to warmer weather, it’s riding a wave of 26 consecutive quarters of growth. And while it seeks to continue growth by connecting with consumers, the brand is also preparing to release updated Americana packaging for the summer, alongside a slate of promotions.