Building on its campaign positioning Miller Time as the “original social media,” Miller Lite is breaking two new TV ads and bringing a limited number of its dark-colored Offline Cans to bars across the country to inspire more drinkers to take a break from social media and spend time with friends over a beer.
The limited-edition 12-ounce cans, which are matte black with a grayscale “Lite” logo and a gold top, will be available in more than 500 bars and taverns in 27 states starting this week. On their reverse, they carry a condensed version of the campaign manifesto in gold script: “A few friends are better than a few thousand followers. Here’s to the original social media. Here’s to the original light beer. It’s Miller Time.”
“When we unveiled the can last fall, people loved it, and we immediately received a ton of requests — ‘Where can I get it?’ ‘Where can I find it?’ ‘I need to have one,’” says Heidi Gilbertson, an associate marketing manager for Miller Lite. “We’re excited to make this happen so quickly, and it’s the perfect time because so many people are making New Year’s resolutions to spend less time on their phones, and more time with friends face-to-face.”
The Miller Lite Offline Cans will be supported with a targeted public relations, social media and point-of-sale marketing campaign that aims to inspire drinkers to invite friends for a night out over Miller Lite.
In select bars where the cans are available, Miller Lite will reward some drinkers for going offline with their own Miller Lite Offline Can, where permitted and while supplies last.
Using new-to-market technology in partnership with Facebook, legal-age drinkers can scan a QR code that triggers a 30-minute countdown that can be synched among friends’ phones. Groups who collectively put down their phones (or “go offline”) for at least 30 minutes could be eligible to receive a Miller Lite Offline Can.
The cans, which only will be available in bars and taverns, are “very limited, and we don’t expect them to last long,” Gilbertson says.
Miller Lite’s new 15-second spots, meanwhile, focus on missed connections — people staring at their phones instead of interacting with friends.
Like the first “It’s Miller Time” spot that began airing in fall, the new ads finish with the tagline: “Here’s to the original social media.” They each began airing this month nationally on TV, streaming services and digital media.
Miller Lite launched the “It’s Miller Time” campaign in October with a national TV spot that aired during Game 1 of the World Series. As part of the rollout, the brand signed off of social media and asked its drinkers to do the same by offering those who unfollowed the brand on social media a free or discounted Miller Lite.
The campaign so far has generated more than 750 million impressions and has helped the brand outperform the premium lights category as a whole. Miller Lite picked up 0.85 points of share of its segment and finished up 0.6% in sales dollars in 2019, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through Dec. 28.
“We’re seeing the positive impact the ‘It’s Miller Time’ campaign is having on sales,” Gilbertson says. “And we’ve got a lot of new ideas coming up in January and beyond.”