In an attempt to revive their brand, Miller Lite has employed a very interesting technique. Over the past five years, Miller had been struggling to keep up with competitors like Bud Lite, Coors and Budweiser. Miller partnered up with a greatly anticipated Anchormen 2, starring Will Ferrell, and released a limited-edition version of the original 1975 white Miller Lite can. The jump in sales from the promotion was so impressive that Miller chose to re-stablish the throwback white can as the standard product. There is also a plan to extend this idea to bottles and tap handles.
According to Ryan Reis, senior director of Miller brands, the new white can allows Miller Lite to stand out in the aisles of liquor stores. He explains that many light beers are in blue packaging/cans and that the old blue Miller Lite design simply gets lost in the crowd.
These throwback cans represent the “vintage” feel that is extremely popular among the young market- Millers key demographic (ages 21-29). The “hipster” movement is incredibly popular in young adults. Anything that is old is seen as vintage and cool. The white can represents the notion of a simpler time, void of over-commercialization. The refined, humble label conveys the message that Miller Lite is the same beer our parents drank back in 1975 and that it is still at the top of its market for a reason. Some customers even claim that the product tastes better in the throwback cans.
I can personally attest that since the change in can design, I have noticed Miller Lite to be the most popular beer among students and other individuals in my age group. In previous years, it was my understanding that people my age cared only about the price tag of the beer they bought. However, as of recent, I believe that consumers disregard the slight increase in price in favor of the original 1975 white Miller Lite cans.
The numbers don’t lie. According to a recent study, Miller Lite can sales have increased over 4.7% this year through March 1st.