Miller Brewery Co: A Century of Change

The brewing company, Miller, has been around for as long as most of people these days can remember. Although the forms of advertising have changed drastically, the message remains the same. Buy our product!

A brief history about the Miller brewing company, Frederick John Miller, (the founding father of the Miller Brewing Co.) was a renowned German brewer the meek age of 25. In 1854 Miller migrated to the United States. In 1855 he finally settled in Milwaukee where he leased and later purchased the Plank Road Brewery for $2,300. In 1888, Frederick Miller passed and left his legacy to his family members who to this day still continue on the brewing tradition.

In the 1800’s the main form of advertising was through signs on the sides of various buildings and the different types of paper signs posted and in the news papers and in magazines.

After the invention of TV, the newest form of advertising became the commercial. With so many ways to portray your message, the styles of commercials have changed drastically over the past 60 years while still managing to maintain the same message.

From the 40’s to the 50’s, the style of commercials for the Miller commercials was primarily musical. Looking back, the style of entertainment of the “era” was more of a musical. The 40’s and 50’s musical genre changed from a jazz to the rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis Presley, and the commercials transitioned with the changing times. The next generation that I was able to locate was the 70’s.

As we roll towards the present, the commercials are geared less towards the musical aspect of the industry and more toward the increased popularity of sports, such as Major League Baseball and Professional Football. This continued through the late 80’s. The 90’s began a whole new type of commercial. One that revolved around sex appeal, and the new millennium brought sex appeal and health concerns together.

There are a few commercials that I want talk about, and see how they target the American population closer. In the early 50’s there was a Miller commercial that used the musical approach. There are two couples getting together for drinks at each others houses. The conversation is musical, not just talking, the dress is casual, and the environment is very relaxed and laid back. The couples seem very happy to be there.

The second commercial I want to talk about is in the late 70’s and 80’s, and is a commercial that involves several professional athletes and comedians. This commercial is a commercial that is based on the hook line that they are all coming together playing the sport of bowling and sharing in what Americans know as a “bonding experience” having a good time being with their friends. They all gather around and share in the “joy” of a Miller beer.

The third leads me into the 90’s where the commercials message shifted from good clean fun to sex sell, or for those of you who only see the Dollar Sign sex= profitt! This third and dirty commercial (The Ultimate Guy Commercial) features two rather busty sleek and slender females. One a blonde and the other a brunette. These girls are enjoying a Miller Light over a quiet lunch and begin to argue over weather Miller Light has a great taste or is less filling. The girls then get up throw the table they were once sitting at, and begin tugging and pulling at each others clothing. They eventually end up in a fountain and then in a tub full of cement. At the end, they look at each other and say, “lets make out.” Any one could see why this commercial would be appealing to all men and maybe even some women these day.

The fourth commercial that I wish to speak about is some of the more recent commercials from more recent years, and by this I mean with in the past five years. These commercials are better known as the “Man Laws”. The man law commercials involve several “greats” from all walks of life and they are all sitting around this big wooden table drinking Miller Light. They come up with random questions to ask, argue, and debate about.

So to wrap this all up, it is clearly evident that the commercials are affected by what is happening in society at that point in time. In the 50’s it was music. In the 70’s it was the newly found popularity of professional sports. In the late 80’s through the 90’s there was this on set of sex appeal and how sex sells. Now in this new generation we something that Miller likes to call “Man Laws”, which is going back to targeting the men in advertising more but at the same time it is targeting the women because of the various people that are acting in it.


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