Wieden Putting Miller Back In The High Life

After a seven-year hiatus, Miller High Life returns to national TV in April with 15-second spots from Wieden & Kennedy under the “Miller time” umbrella.
New packaging for the subpremium-priced beer incorporates the “Girl in the moon” graphic used earlier in the brand’s history and the “Champagne of beer” label phrase first incorporated in 1906.
After years of relative marketing neglect, spending on the brand is being increased to the $5-10 million range this year.
Wieden’s TV work was still being completed last week, a Miller representative said. Executives at the Portland, Ore.-headquartered agency declined comment.
The TV campaign, breaking the week of April 6, will position the brand as the liquid embodiment of “simplicity, hard work and common sense,” the brewer’s representative said. That sets High Life apart from core brands Miller Lite, which employs offbeat humor in advertising from Fallon McElligott, and Miller Genuine Draft, the hip, urban entry, also handled by Wieden.
All three brands employ the “Miller time” theme first used for High Life in 1971 and resurrected for Lite in January 1997. High Life was the brewer’s flagship brand for years, until that position was usurped by Lite and Genuine Draft in the 1980s.
The TV spots will air regularly during Major League Baseball telecasts. Prizes for a planned summer promotion include trips to ballparks.
High Life supermarket sales were up 9.3 percent for the 52 weeks ending Feb. 22, according to Information Resources. But the brand boasts only a 2.3 share, down significantly from its ’70s heyday. –with Angela Dawson