Miller Lite Hits the Bodega for Indie-Style Ads About Neighborhood Characters And they all want the same thing

Silver Man—a dude in a top hat and glasses, every inch of him coated in silver paint—really shines in TBWA\Chiat\Day's new campaign for Miller Lite.

But he's just one of many characters, oddball and otherwise, who visit a typical neighborhood bodega to pick up some suds and chat with wise, friendly Fred, the bilingual owner of the store. Other customers include a pair of muscular twins who say the same things at the same time; One Tripper (he doesn't need help, dammit, toting a mountain of snacks and brewskies out the door); and a karaoke singer whose rendition of "Carry On Wayward Son" doesn't quite match the sonic impact of the original.

Tagged "As long as you are you, it's Miller Time," the campaign includes ads in English and Spanish, targeting millennial and Hispanic audiences at a time when craft brews have eroded the sales of big-name beers. These eight spots have a relaxed, indie-film feel, inspired by the convenience-store settings in movies by Jim Jarmusch and the team of Wayne Wang and Paul Auster.

"The market seems to be rich with plenty of, let's just say, less subtle beer advertising," Arts & Sciences director Matt Aselton tells Fast Company, "so it seemed like a nice way of telling personal stories and not jock-rock archetypal stories. It's like Sesame Street—the people in your neighborhood—except with a light beer."

In real life, all sorts of people drop in and out of bodegas, so "anything is possible," says Aselton. This makes the stream of strange customers in the commercials seem plausible, with the low-key and slightly askew humor hitting home every time. (The Silver Man, presumably a street performer, is a highlight, particularly when he's joined by a glittery sidekick for an impromptu pose-down.)

Through it all, Fred serves as a calm, all-knowing foil, doling out advice and yakking it up with the clientele. Smartly underplayed by Eastbound & Down actor Marco Rodriguez, he keeps the proceedings firmly centered. The Silver Men may steal the show, but Fred is pure gold, one of the most welcome pitch characters to hit screens in recent memory.

Client: Miller Lite
Campaign: "Bodega"
Chief Marketing Officer: Andy England
Vice President, Brand Marketing, Miller Family of Brands: Gannon Jones
Senior Director, Miller Family of Brands: Ryan Reis
Director, Miller Lite: Greg Butler
Senior Marketing Manager, Miller Lite: Jeanne-­ette Boshoff
Marketing Manager, Miller Lite Multicultural: Julia Watson

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Chief Creative Officer: Stephen Butler
Executive Creative Director: Fabio Costa
Mark Peters: Creative Director
Creative Directors: Jason Karley, Rick Utzinger, Bob Rayburn, Matthew Woodhams-Roberts, David Horton, Harris Wilkinson
Senior Art Directors: Jeff Dryer, Chris Rodriguez
Senior Copywriter: Guy Helm
Art Director: John Stobie
Director of Production: Brian O'Rourke
Executive Producer: Anh-­Thu Le
Producer: Stephanie Dziczek
Business Lead: Jill Nykoliation
Group Account Director: Chris Hunter
Group Planning Director: Scott McMaster
Account Director: Bryan Reugebrink
Project Manager: Alice Pavlisko
Business Affairs Director: Linda Daubson
Business Affairs Managers: Nora Cicuto, Dorn Reppert
Traffic Operations Director: Dessiah Maxwell
Senior Traffic Operations Manager: Judy Brill

Agency: Team Ignition
Senior Art Director: Erick Rodriguez
Senior Copywriter: Raul Mendez
Account Director: Giovanni Chiappardi
Account Planner: Elsa Gonzalez

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Directgor: Matt Aselton
Managing Director, Partner: Mal Ward
Executive Producer, Managing Partner: Marc Marrie
Producer: Zoe Odlum
Director of Photography: Sal Totino
Production Designer: David Wilson

Editing Company: Spot Welders
Editors: Haines Hall, Kevin Zimmerman, J.C. Nunez, Oli Hecks
Executive Producer: Carolina Sanborn
Producer: Evan Cunningham

Visual Effects: MPC
Executive Producer: Karen Anderson
Producer: Abisayo Adejare
Colorist: Mark Gethin
Visual Effects Lead: Mark Holden
Visual Effects: Benji Davidson, Dylan Brown, William Cox, Sandra Ross

Music Supervision: Good Ear Music Supervision

Sound Effects: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Head of Production: Whitney Fromholtz

Mixing: Lime Studios
Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant Mixer: Matt Miller:
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

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