Miller's Girl in the Moon ad.

Advertising deconstructed.
Oct. 10 2005 12:01 PM

Aiming High

A beer ad without any stupid jokes? Is Miller nuts?

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I also think it's smart to reintroduce The Girl herself—a forgotten, century-old brand icon. Apparently, she's been on the bottles almost all this time. Who knew? We've seen Burger King dust off the King character from its vaults (with a campy flourish), but this is an entirely different sort of spokesperson. The Girl in the Moon has an old-timey, innocent appeal, and she suggests a brand with a noble past. A brand that's been there for the times that nurture the scenes that fill up the scrapbook that savors the moments that make up our lives.

Grade: B+. High Life was repositioned in the early '90s as a "near-premium" (or "popularly priced") beer. This meant that it was priced a few bucks cheaper than "premium" brands like Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft. (Its competitors became working-class beers like Busch and Milwaukee's Best—beers that sell far better in supermarkets and liquor stores than in bars.) The "endgame" with this new campaign, according to an industry expert I spoke with, is almost certainly to start charging more per case again for Miller High Life (or "increase the pricing power," as they say). After the marketing department gussies up High Life's image, the price point will follow.

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Correction, Oct. 12, 2005: In the original version of this piece, Miller Lite was misspelled. Click here to return to the corrected sentence.