“Miller Time” Makes a Lite Return

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There was a time in America when every Miller in the land (and pretty much everybody else) could not escape it.

“It’s Miller Time!” rang from the New York islands to the redwood forests. Throughout the 1970s, Miller Brewing used the tagline and re-introduced it from 1997 to 2002 to support its Miller Lite, which started the whole light-beer movement in America 37 years ago.

But wait! CNBC reports that “Miller Time” is upon us again. The marketing plan this time around is to use it to support Miller Lite, which could use a boost.

Beer Marketer’s Insights estimates that overall shipments of the brew have fallen 4.3 percent, CNBC reports. So from May to August, U.S. consumers can expect to hear and see the tagline wherever they buy beer. Miller Lite’s media budget in that time frame will go up 50 percent and new packaging will be introduced, MillerCoors CMO Andy England told the Dow Jones Newswires.[more]

In both of its initial uses, “Miller Time” came at week’s (or even day’s) end, when the hard work was over and the simplicity of evening, of home, was upon the American workforce. That simplicity has disappeared, of course, as the economy has made life more difficult. So the meaning has changed. Now, “Miller Time” is about hanging out with pals, forming community, finding the pleasure of friendship over a cold one (or two).

Perhaps the folks at MillerCoors didn’t like that the “Tastes Great, Less Filling” tagline that Miller Lite made famous also created too many faux divisive situations. The message, after all, is supposed to be about coming together.

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