- Miller Lite is bringing back its iconic slogan, "It's Miller Time," for a new generation of beer drinkers, the company revealed in a blog post. The premise of the campaign is for consumers to put down their phones, forget about their social media accounts and have a beer in person with real friends.
- Miller Lite is "going dark" on social media. In a nod to how serious it is about this message, Miller Lite is giving away free beer to up to 118,000 people — the number of the brand's Instagram followers — who unfollow Miller Lite on Instagram or Facebook. The brand also debuted a dark can on Twitter.
- The campaign also includes a TV spot called "Followers," which debuted during Game 1 of the World Series. The ad will run in 15-, 30-, 60- and 90-second versions across TV and online video through the year. Early next year, it will be joined by new work.
"It's Miller Time" is a classic tagline, and Miller Lite tying it in to a modern theme allows the brand to keep this messaging relevant today. Calling on consumers to unfollow the brand is risky, as it could decrease its social media reach, but could attract consumers that are feeling overwhelmed by social media and an "always-on" lifestyle.
Many consumers are looking for ways to avoid social media burnout and have gone on digital detoxes and set limits for themselves on when and where they use their devices. If Miller Lite can connect to people who desire to unplug and be old school by meeting up with friends face to face for a beer, the brand could resonate with this growing group of consumers.
"Before social media was invented, getting together with real friends over beer was the original social media... Today's drinkers are absorbed in their smartphones. They have friends online with whom they've never shared a beer, and they spend too much time watching other peoples' lives online instead of living their own," Courtney Benedict, marketing director of the Miller brands, said in a blog post.
Miller is not the first brand to make such a risky move. Last year, Vitaminwater ran a contest calling on people to give up their phone for a year for the chance to win $100,000. Similarly, Stella Artois ran an ad last year imagining a phone-free bar. And HP is currently running a campaign that stresses the damage of digital addiction by bringing popular memes to life and questioning if we've lost touch with reality.