Over the past two and a half years I have tried like hell to get in touch with the people from Miller because I really love their flagship beer (old=flagship) — Miller High Life. I wanted to be involved, I wanted them to sponsor ACL, and well, shit, I wanted some free beer! In addition to obsessing over their super bubbly deliciousness, I have long been obsessed with the W+K produced / Errol Morris directed series of commercials. I think maybe the Errol Morris spots were ahead of their time. Especially when you consider the what is happening these days with this whole Americana thing. I also think that maybe the marketing folks at Miller don’t get it — just look at the “common sense” ads that the company has been running for the past few years. High Life is a gold mine of heritage, the best bottle shape in beer drinking and is a relatively unbiased product. When I say “unbiased” I mean — that while some people may view High Life as cheap and watery — they don’t attach the same connotations as the Bud Lights of the world.
I think a lot of people sort of forgot about High life because so few bars and restaurants serve it. Last night a friend and I went to Quality Meats in midtown for dinner and I was surprised that they offer Pabst Blue Ribbon pounders along with a host of craft beers. That reminded me of a few weeks ago when I was in Madison, Wisconsin when friends and I had steaks at the Tornado Club and they served High Life in the bottle. That’s a nice touch. Fancy food and an “everyman” beer. Now I don’t profess to know everything about the politics of restaurant beer sales — but why isn’t High Life sold at more places? I understand how some people may not like High Life and how many prefer small batch beers. But come on, High Life is just as tasty as Amstel Light, and most people think that beer is “upmarket” or however you want to call it. That’s horse shit.
At the end of the day — even if you don’t like High Life — you have to give it credit for it’s amazing packaging. When I heard that Landor San Francisco was updating the look and feel I got nervous they were going to bastardize it. That was until I saw what they did, and man they nailed it. (Packaging update is pictured above and below.) Thankfully they didn’t walk away from their history and iconic design. Now if I couldn’t only get someone from Miller on the horn…
All images (via The Dieline)