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Miller Lite beer cans from 1974 and 2003

The 1970s Miller Lite look was reignited by the film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

In what can be seen as either a happy accident or a giddily successful film tie-in, Miller Lite has leveraged an Anchorman 2 appearance for vintage white-label can into a successful rebranding at retail.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was released to domestic theaters December 13. In January, the new-old look was set to hit stores for 10 weeks, but after seeing a sales increase of 6%, by one account, Miller decided to make the switch permanent, expanding to bottles and even tap handles.

The new look, which dates back to 1974, replaces the blue-label packaging that’s been around since 2001. Following up on an appearance by a Miller Highlife-like beer in the orignal Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, “this time around MillerCoors worked with Paramount to get authentic Lite cans, and replicas of real Lite beer ads, from 1980 when the sequel is set,” USA Today reported.

MillerCoors is still the No. 4 light beer in the U.S., with a 6.2 market share, Bloomberg Businessweek shared in a story about the retro label relaunch, indicating that after initially climbing, sales slumped, resulting in -1% for the year-over-year through August, which would suggest the assist from Ron Burgundy and crew was a decisive factor.

But MillerCoors is going to stick with the new old look for now, and in August word leaked that it was launching a formal creative review: “The Chicago-based brewer has sent requests for proposals to Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett of Chicago, Omnicom Group’s TBWA of Los Angeles and a new entity within WPP led by Ogilvy Chicago called Royal Order,” Crain’s Chicago Business reported.

Miller Lite bottles, designed by Walter Landor

Vintage Miller Lite look developed by Walter Landor is once again uncapped.

The packaging design for Miller Lite — credited as the first light beer — was created by legendary German-born adman Walter Landor, whose challenge was to conjure a look that would appeal to women and the weight-conscious, as well as to traditional beer drinkers. His solution was the custom gothic lettering intended to visually reference the brew’s Germanic bona fides.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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