Miller High Life Campaigns for 'Common Sense'

Election-Themed Ads Play Up Brand's Blue-Collar Image

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CHICAGO ( -- The High Life is coming to the campaign trail.

In a viral effort it hopes will continue Miller High Life's recent sales uptick, MillerCoors is sending the brand's delivery-guy mascot to stump for the "High Life Common Sense Party" in 12 markets and on internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
Campaign stops are set for Major League Baseball and college football games.
Campaign stops are set for Major League Baseball and college football games.

Down to earth
The campaign stops are set for Major League Baseball and college football games and are an extension of TV ads created first from Crispin, Porter & Bogusky and now from Saatchi & Saatchi. The spots show the driver confiscating High Life from French bistros, gourmet grocers, luxury boxes and other too-chic locations at odds with the brand's blue-collar ethic. The driver has also been making appearances at sporting events since last summer.

The unnamed driver will continue to rail against all things pricey and sing the praises of his brand's value while shaking as many hands as possible. "You've got all these politicians talking about change," he says in a campaign commercial posted on YouTube. "Well, I've got some change for you. Give me five bucks and I'll give you six of the High Life, and some change."

High Life's senior brand manager, Kevin Oglesby, said the "campaign" approach works for the brand on multiple levels. "It leverages the interest in the presidential election, and it leverages our brand's positioning," he said.

High Life sales bump
The positioning, at least, seems to be working. High Life sales rose by nearly 1% during the second quarter, a strong performance for a brand in a challenged category (full-calorie domestic macrobrews) that had seen steep declines in sales for several years leading up to the advent of the current campaign.

The ads also mark Miller's return to the campaign trail. During the 2004 political cycle, Miller Lite drew some buzz for a series of presidential-debate-style ads that compared Miller Lite to Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light.

The ads ultimately provoked A-B to respond with its own ad that Miller's South African ownership would prevent it from being eligible to run for president. Of course, A-B -- soon to be under Belgian control -- is unlikely to attempt a similar retort this time around.
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