Miller Lite campaign causes outrage
A Miller Lite campaign that addressed the beer industry’s previous representation of women has faced criticism since being recirculated.
In what many are calling “woke’ and “tone deaf” in light of the Bud Light’s controversy with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, the Miller Lite initiative re-emerged and immediately went viral on social media provoking heated exchanges online among the brand’s audience.
The advertising campaign, led by Miller Lite owners Molson Coors, was originally created back in March during Women’s History Month and sees comedian Ilana Glazer remind the industry that it was women who first brewed beer. During the advertisement, Glazer also pointed out that the way the sector has responded to their historical significance is simply to sexualise them.
In the advertisement, Glazer stated: “Here’s a little known fact, women were among the very first to brew beer ever. Centuries later, how did the industry pay homage to the founding mothers of beer? They put us in bikinis.”
Glazer then added: “To honour this we wanted to acknowledge the missteps in representation of women in beer advertising by cleaning up not just our s***, but the whole industry’s s*** while benefiting the future of women and beer.”
The campaign encouraged people to buy up the old sexist marketing materials and send them to Miller Lite so that they could turn them into compost, which could be used to make fertiliser for hops farmers, with the resulting hops being sent to female brewers.
In the advert, Glazer said: “There’s definitely more s*** out there, in your attic, in your garage, in your parents’ basement. Send any s*** you have to Miller Lite and they’ll turn that into good s*** too,” before she added: “So, here’s to women, because without us, there would be no beer.”
The fury over the campaign, which is being torn apart on social media, echoes the Mulvaney controversy only due to the anger it has sparked among the brand’s core male audience who are furious that their favourite beer has been “politicised” with many calling to boycott the brand.
Examples include OutKick founder Clay Travis who slammed Molson Coors for the new advertisement, saying it has no idea who actually consumes its products and, following this, newspapers including the Daily Mail referenced the campaign’s advert as a “wokecommercial”.
A spokesperson for Molson Coors responded to the claims the advert was woke, telling the newspaper: ‘This video was about two things: worm poop and saying women shouldn’t be forced to mud wrestle in order to sell beer. Neither of these things should be remotely controversial and we hope beer drinkers can appreciate the humour (and ridiculousness) of this video from back in March.”
On Monday, Travis tweeted: “Miller Lite saw the Bud Light disaster and decided they needed their own woke beer ad”, while Graham Allen, host of the Dear America podcast tweeted: “Did nobody learn from Bud Light’s costly mistake? Miller Lite just dropped this woke advertisement!!! When will these beer companies learn????”
Despite the ‘Bad s*** to Good s***’ campaign being released prior to the Bud Light situation, the uproar online for Miller Lite continues with the marketing of the campaign being questioned.
Many are still citing the Miller Lite advert as rolling down a similar route to the Bud Light revolt, an issue that shows the vulnerability of big beer in the wake of consumer anger. To put into perspective the magnitude of the impact for AB InBev, US Bud Light sales were down 21.4% following Dylan Mulvaney endorsement.
The ‘Good s***, bad s***’ Miller Lite campaign was spearheaded by an all-female team, and, according to Molson Coors, “continues the brand’s work empowering women in beer”.
Miller Lite made a name for itself from the 90s for its adverts featuring bikini-clad women such as Pamela Anderson, Sofia Vergara and Tanya Ballinger, but has since taken steps to rectify its ‘frat boy’ image.