I can’t speak for the product but Miller 64 commercial isn’t half bad.

March 29, 2012

View the commercial on Facebook

Hammering the big three brewers for predictably lame advertising is a national pastime in the USA. Almost as popular as bashing their products. It’s a paradox. Beer fans relentlessly criticize Miller, Budweiser and Coors and yet their low-calorie beers are the top sellers in America. And their advertising, for all its reported badness, regularly appears on people’s lists of favorite ads. We humans are hypocritical that way. We mass consume but discount mass production. However interesting this irony, it’s not the subject of this post.

Actually, I’d like to single out a Miller beer commercial for its virtues. The new campaign comes from (I believe) Saatchi & Saatchi for Miller 64 -a lower than low, low-calorie beer. Safe to say, beer aficionados will never appreciate this brew but, obviously, they’re not the target. And, as I said before, that is not the target of this essay either.

The miller 64 commercial is charming in a beery, boyish sort of way. Not frat-boyish like so many of its counterparts but fraternal in the original sense of the word. It’s an ode to “love, sweat and beers” sung in the fashion of an English rugby tune. Guys struggle to stay fit and enjoy beers with their pals. While not a new strategy, the execution feels fresher and realer than other ‘work hard/play hard’ symphonies. Part of it is the swagger. The guys are messy and believable in their messiness. The song is fun and well written. The film is washed out like an old pair of blue jeans. It feels, well honest.

In many ways, I appreciate the commercial for what it isn’t. We don’t see a group of dressed-down models, (two white, one black) sitting on a couch watching the “big game” while their unbelievably hot girlfriends pseudo-dance with each other in the kitchen. Nor do we see a scruffy, brilliant dog chewing up the scenery instead of the ottoman. There are no buffoons or heroes.

Nope. This spot is just plain fun, which, if I’m not mistaken, is what beer is supposed to be. I also appreciate its marriage of fitness and drinking –two topics that seldom ever click. While this commercial won’t win any Lions at Cannes I applaud it for being a good beer commercial. So there.


9 Responses to “I can’t speak for the product but Miller 64 commercial isn’t half bad.”

  1. Hey! is your Dad still alive? He may have worked with my uncle!!

  2. hey there! can you email me …have a story for you! Is your dad still alive?

  3. I would love to speak privately with you sometime? My great aunt is still alive and wonderfully well! She has many great stories and I’m sure you would love it! My great uncle was VP or president at Needham.. .

  4. senior..vp..lol..What year did your dad leave?

  5. dave percy said

    this commercial is a sad, unimaginative, humorless, boardroom conceived ” quick we need to fill a spot fast!” attempt to create a broader profit base for a mass produced beer product that is designed from the bottom up to be as drinkable as possible to the most people possible. I watched the ad on TV and wondered out loud if the purpose was to make me feel retarded. Cliche office fodder, cheesy refrain which sounds like the same voice was dubbed a bunch of times…And hey! guess what?! It will sell lots of Miller “64″! Lots of folks will think this is what a beer is really supposed to be all about. Guess ol’ Hannum was right… Actually maybe I am becoming slightly retarded- was that Steven Tyler of Aerosmith that i just saw offering up his soul in a Burger King commercial??!! Wow!!! Kids’ meal toys in the attic anyone?…

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