The Evolution of Miller Lite Ads

31 Oct

Hey! My name is Paulina and I going to be focusing on Miller Lite’s role in media culture for this project.  I am currently centering my research on the types of advertisements Miller Lite has been putting out the past few years. The majority of Miller Lite’s advertisements is on YouTube or their website (millerlite.com) and is targeted for men ages 21-34.  I thought the Miller Lite advertisements would be a good launching point for my research because there are so many people on YouTube that have viewed these ads and have also gave their personal opinions on the ads with comments. Miller Lite has its own YouTube channel, so I decided to subscribe to it. Unfortunately, there are a very limited number of advertisements uploaded from the Miller Lite YouTube channel, so most of the advertisements I found were uploaded by fans.

I found it very interesting how the types of ads have changed over the past half-decade. What really caught my attention was how women were portrayed in the commercials and whether they were in the ads or not.  I noticed that in the advertisements from over 4 years ago, there were rarely any women shown. The Miller Lite ads during 2006 were called “Men of the Square Table” which showed about 10 men discussing which rules should be considered ‘Man Laws’.  The Man Laws were supposed to show men how to be more masculine.  The “Men of the Square Table” advertisements were gotten rid of because of a decrease in sales.  I think that’s a shame because I did not find the Man Laws to be degrading or offensive to women in comparison to the next few waves of commercials.

A few years ago a couple more commercials came out; this time the commercials displayed a man and a woman.  In one of these commercials, the girlfriend asked her boyfriend this question: If he could save her or a Miller Lite, which one would he choose?  Of course the man chose the Miller Lite and the girlfriend left him. Another one of these ads showed a man with his girlfriend saying how he finally “found the one” and how he never really thought he would “find one he really loved”. The girlfriend obviously figured the man was talking about her, until he held up a Miller Lite, completely ignoring the angry girlfriend next to him.

The Miller Lite advertisements from this year were a lot worse than the ads in the past. These commercials had the tag line “Man Up”.  In each of these ads, a man would be in a bar and go up to an attractive female bartender saying that he had no preference for the taste in his light beer. The female bartender gives him a bland light beer and tells him to come back to get a Miller Lite after he’s gotten rid of whatever girly accessory he had. A few examples of these feminine accessories which the men had were a skirt, scarf, carry-all (the bartender called it a purse), lower back tattoo, skinny jeans, and other womanly things. These ads urged men to “Man Up” and to stop emasculating themselves by going out in public with accessories that our society view as strictly feminine.

The most degrading Miller Lite ads showed two women who got in a cat fight over whether Miller Lite is the best because of its ‘great taste’, or because it’s ‘less filling.’ These women end up tearing each others’ clothes off and falling into a fountain…need I explain more. Another one of these ads featured none other than Pamela Anderson, who also got involved in a shirtless fight with the other girls.

I noticed that generally over the years, the Miller Lite advertisements got progressively more sexist with regards to how women were represented in the commercials and how men were constantly punished for appearing feminine in any way. For my future research I want to examine the viewers’ responses to these ads to see whether they perceive these commercials to be as inappropriate I find them to be.

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2 Responses to “The Evolution of Miller Lite Ads”

  1. jengallo November 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Wow, that’s really interesting that the ads got progressively more sexist. Why do you think Miller Lite made that decision? Do you think it was a conscious decision?

  2. plgnet November 16, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    The advertisements that you discuss in this blog definitely show the gender differences that Miller Lite is portraying with in their product’s campaign. Do you think they mean to be so sexist? Im not one for watching commercials so I feel like I haven’t seen many of their advertisements, but I know from the select ones I have seen they have been sexist. I would be interested in finding out the demographics of people who actually consume Miller Lite products and the distinctions that come up between men and women consumers. It is definitely clear through your research that they must be targeting men or it’s time to get a new campaign!

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