Miller Mocks A-B With One-Second Ads

Spots Poking Fun at Rival's Bowl Dominance Will Air During Pre-Game

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- If Anheuser-Busch parent InBev is looking to save money, rival MillerCoors has a suggestion: Skip the Super Bowl.

Miller High Life's series of one-second ads mocks A-B for owning the big game.
Miller High Life's series of one-second ads mocks A-B for owning the big game.
The brewer's Miller High Life brand is using a series of one-second ads airing during the pre-game festivities on 25 local NBC stations to mock A-B for owning the big game.

"Miller High Life is all about high quality and great value, so it wouldn't make sense for this brand to pay $3 million for a 30-second ad," High Life Senior Brand Manager Kevin Oglesby said in a statement. "Just like our consumers, High Life strives to make smart choices. One second should be plenty of time to remind viewers that Miller High Life is common sense in a bottle."

Or, as the intro on Miller's website featuring the spots puts it: "Paying $3 million for a 30-second commercial makes as much sense as putting sauerkraut on a donut. Actually, even that makes more sense."

High Life still lagging
That not-at-all veiled barb at A-B, which boasts four minutes and 30 seconds of ad time during a game that commands about $3 million per 30-second spot (although A-B pays less than that due to its long-term deal), comes at a time when consumers are trading down from pricier beers such as Heineken and Corona to cheaper ones such as Busch and Keystone.

High Life, which is priced below "premium" beers such as Budweiser and Miller Lite but above the sub-premiums, has yet to fully benefit from that trend. Its sales as of late have lagged many of its bottom-shelf colleagues.

The spots from High Life agency of record Saatchi & Saatchi, available on 1secondad.com, feature the brand's delivery-driver mascot, played by actor Windell Middlebrooks, making brief one-second exclamations, such as "bean dip" and "Miller Time." Some have an outtake feel, showing him getting makeup or asking for help with his lines.

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