Miller Lite’s ‘ridiculously long URL’ trolls Michelob Ultra's calorie claims

Staking a claim to the idea that more taste for one extra calorie is worth the trade, Miller Lite is again punching up at Michelob Ultra, a light-beer competitor that’s positioned itself as the beer for the active set.

With Michelob Ultra set to air a new spot during Sunday’s football championship game, Miller Lite is pushing back with a campaign that reminds legal-age drinkers it has only one calorie more than Mich Ultra – a difference that can be made up by simply typing a few characters on a keyboard.

“Miller Lite wants to prove that a one-calorie difference shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Both beers are light beers and low calorie, but why should one extra calorie matter if it means more taste?” says Zach Paciorek, associate marketing manager for Miller Lite. “There’s no better way to show drinkers how easy it is to burn a single calorie than by typing a ridiculously long URL.”

So Miller Lite is asking consumers to burn that extra calorie by typing in an 836-character URL when Michelob Ultra’s ad airs during the big game Sunday for a chance to get a six-pack of beer on the house.

The beer brand is making it nearly impossible for consumers to cheat, though, publishing the URL in full-page advertisements in the New York Times, in its hometown Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the newspaper in Michelob Ultra’s backyard. Miller Lite also will publish the URL on social media, but in a form that cannot be copied and pasted.


“While ridiculous in length, we love the simplicity of it,” Paciorek says. “Type our 836-charcter URL during Ultra’s ad, burn the one extra calorie difference, and win some Miller Lite – a beer with more taste than Michelob Ultra.”

Miller Lite has historically gone head-to-head with fellow premium-light competitor Bud Light, but in recent years, as Bud Light sales have slumped, it’s trained its sights on fast-growing Mich Ultra.

For 25 consecutive quarters, Miller Lite has picked up share of the premium lights segment, most of which came from Bud Light, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. 

Meanwhile, Mich Ultra has steadily climbed the ranks of the top beer brands sold in the U.S., posting off-premise growth of about 20% in 2020, per Nielsen.

“As the Original Light Beer, we’re always glad when a competitor gives us the chance to remind people of Miller Lite’s great taste with only 96 calories,” Paciorek says. “And for more taste, we think the extra calorie is worth it.”