The beer industry has a notorious history of sexist advertising—babes in bikinis and the like—but now Miller Lite is atoning with a campaign called “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” for Women’s History Month.
The campaign, from agency Alma, is fronted by producer, comedian and actor Ilana Glazer, who explains the concept in the video below. Essentially, Miller Lite is collecting old sexist print ads and posters, grinding them into worm food, using the worm food to make fertilizer, using the fertilizer to grow hops, and giving the hops to women brewers—who have long been critical to the industry—to brew more beer.
It’s a little convoluted, sure, but for a good cause.
“This Women’s History Month, Miller Lite wanted to recognize that without women, there would be no beer,” said Elizabeth Hitch, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. “To honor this, we wanted to acknowledge the missteps in representation of women in beer advertising by cleaning up not just our $#!T, but the whole industry’s $#!T while benefiting the future of women and beer.”
Brewers have revisited vintage beer ads before for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. In 2019, Budweiser dredged up three of its own embarrassing ads from the Mad Men era and cleverly updated them with a modern take—then ran them side by side in major newspapers. Two years before that, Skol in Brazil hired women illustrators to remake the cringingly sexist ads it used to run.
The hops grown through the Miller Lite campaign will be donated to over 200 female brewers to make some 330,000 beers. The brand will also donate over five times the amount it spends to buy back the old ads to the Pink Boots Society, supporting in brewing education for women.
“I know women have been erased from building many industries from the ground up, and yet I was still surprised to learn they were among the first beer brewers in history,” said Glazer. “After years of treating women like objects, the industry has an opportunity to shed more light on just how powerful women's contribution has been. I'm inspired Miller Lite created the space for this reflection, and I’m proud to play a part in repping this step in the right direction. We really made some good $#!T together!”