There was a time, before 2020, when things were simpler. When it didn’t feel like the world was upside down.
Miller Lite is turning back the clock to help legal-age drinkers transport themselves to simpler times, where friends could gather for a few nights at a lake house, drink some beers and make memories.
In its latest promotion, which kicks off this week, Miller Lite is opening overnight reservations at a Michigan lake house designed to bring drinkers back to 1975, the year Miller Lite was released across the United States.
“Typically the summer is a time for travel, exploration and spending time with friends and family,” says Courtney Dugan, Miller Lite’s director of activation. “This year, summer travel plans look very different. We’re missing those intimate connections. So we thought, what if you could escape 2020 by time-traveling back to 1975 when Miller Time was created and have the ultimate Miller Time experience?”
Miller Lite and Hotels.com worked to transform a privately owned lake house in Muskegon, Mich., into a time capsule, complete with '70s-era mod furniture, shag carpets, an avocado-colored kitchen and wood paneling. It also has a game room with a pinball machine, a vinyl record player and throwback board games, in addition to a groovy patio tricked out with Miller Lite Adirondack chairs and a custom grill.
“At Hotels.com, we love to offer unique and one-of-a-kind stays, so when the Miller Lite team brought us the idea of the Miller Timeshare, we were eager to become the exclusive lodging partner,” says Jennifer Dohm, Hotels.com’s head of public relations and social media for the Americas. “We can all get behind the feeling of wanting to escape 2020, and we’re looking forward to providing this getaway for travelers.”
For $96 a night, people age 21 and up can book up to three nights at the Miller Timeshare between Sept. 10 and 30. Booking is first come, first served, and starts Sept. 4. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home overlooks Mona Lake, has lakefront access and accommodates up to eight people.
While the home has some modern luxuries, like a flat-screen TV, up-to-date kitchen appliances and central air, it doesn’t have a WiFi connection. By design.
“This is about spending time with people you care about and finding some normalcy in such uncertain times,” Dugan says.
The promotion represents the brand's latest pivot off its Miller Time campaign, a longstanding tagline Miller Lite modernized and resurrected last year. With a focus on promoting in-person interactions as an antidote to our always-connected culture, the campaign was upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
But the beer brand has continued to find ways to promote the kind of meaningful interactions that Miller Time stands for, such as bringing ballpark seating to baseball fans’ homes and hosting virtual events to support the United States Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.
“We feel like Miller Lite has a unique role to help people have that Miller Time moment they’ve been missing,” Dugan says. “This is our responsibility to enable that in a safe and exciting way and fill that void of personal connection we’re all experiencing right now.”
Safety is another feature of the Miller Timeshare: The home will be sterilized before and after each check-in, in accordance with CDC guidelines, she says.
When Miller Lite was introduced nationwide 45 years ago, it upended a static American beer scene. At 96 calories and 3.2 carbs, it’s still a favorite among legal-age drinkers, posting a segment-best four-week growth of 8.5% and annual growth of 8.7%, according to the latest all-outlet and convenience-store data from Nielsen.
“Even though lots has changed since 1975, one thing hasn’t: American drinkers continue to celebrate Miller Time, even when it’s challenging. That’s what makes unique experiences like this even more special,” Dugan says.