Miller Lite toasts end of company holiday parties with artist Alex Prager

There’s good news for workers who have grown weary of the forced camaraderie and other awkward interactions of company holiday parties: More than 75% of companies say they will not have a holiday party this year.

To bid holiday parties farewell, Miller Lite is launching a national ad and social campaign memorializing their most cringeworthy moments, while celebrating an added benefit to workers: more time spent with friends and family. The brand today debuted a humorous TV spot directed by acclaimed visual artist Alex Prager.

“Most workers have mixed feelings about the company holiday party, and the silver lining is canceled holiday parties means more time for Miller Time, those meaningful moments with close friends and family,” says Sofia Colucci, vice president of marketing for Miller Lite. “Now Alex Prager is lending her unique perspective to show the contrast between forced fun and the authentic interactions that Miller Time is all about.”

The lifelike characters from the TV ad will be part of an art exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which begins Saturday and lasts through January 3.

The Miller Lite-sponsored exhibit is free to the public and will be displayed outside LACMA in the Smidt Welcome Plaza, as well as virtually.

Prager, known for her elaborately staged scenes that expose the often-overlooked aspects of everyday life and culture through realistic characters, captures some of the most awkward moments of holiday parties, like the co-worker wearing a wreath, the close-talking colleague, the crying co-worker, and even the catered meals.

Images courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London.

“It’s rare that a project like this comes my way. It's one of those dream collaborations that comes along once every five years or so,” Prager says. “It touches on many things I've been exploring in my artistic practice – the line between reality and artifice and how we find ways to connect as humans through both raw emotion and performance, or projected realities.

“This year has been a disaster in terms of connecting with people we share common realities with, so I was very excited to work on a project that is ultimately about love and the human condition seen through an elegant and humorous lens,” she says.

Prager worked with a Hollywood special-effects company to create the 15 sculptures, which bring to life the cringe-worthiness of holiday parties, where workers too often see an unvarnished side of their colleagues.

“It’s important for holiday advertising to hit on people’s emotions and be culturally relevant. Our take is to bring some humor and light-heartedness, finding the silver lining on something that is affecting people’s lives,” says Colucci. “There’s a clear purpose for Miller Lite to be there because we’re showing a clear contrast to forced fun – and that is Miller Time – when you can relax, be yourself and be with a few close friends.”

Legal-age drinkers can also snag a six-pack on Miller Lite by visiting @MillerLite on Twitter and responding to its pinned “#TisMillerTime” tweet, and tagging a friend with whom they’d rather be drinking Miller Lite.

The beer brand kicked off its celebration of the holiday season earlier this month with the launch of its annual “ugly” holiday knitwear collection and new holiday packaging. Available on the new site, the knitwear collection includes sweaters, hats, mittens and more.