Miller Lite released an ad calling their old marketing campaigns sexist and worse earlier this year. The “woke” ad has gone viral, with conservatives calling for boycotts of the beer company. Many are comparing Miller’s ad with Bud Light’s celebration of trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney with rainbow beer cans, which also caused cries for a boycott.
The issue is Miller’s campaign was announced on March 7th, and Mulvaney didn’t post the Bud Lite can baring her face until April 1st. So if anything, Bud Light is following in Miller Lite’s footsteps, and not the other way around. Since Mulvaney’s post was also in celebration of Women’s History Month, and Miller’s commercial is focused on women.
The ad shows comedian Ilana Glazer (“The Night Before”) giving a brief history of beer. “Women were among the very first to brew beer, ever,” says Glazer, while walking through a brewery. “From Mesopotamia to the Middle Ages to colonial America, women were the ones doing the brewing.”
Before she points out, “Centuries later, how did the industry pay homage to the founding mothers of beer? They put us in bikinis.” While she enters a room filled with old Miller Lite ads. All feature scantily clad women in sexual poses and all of them have their faces blurred. “It’s time beer made it up to women,” Glazer announces.
She then explains that the company is turning its old, sexist, advertisements into compost. Miller is also offering to buy back old marketing materials to make even more compost for fertilizer. That fertilizer can produce over 1,000 lbs of hops. It will be given to 200 female brewers, to produce 330,000 beers. All in a bid to turn “Bad shit to the good shit.”
While no one is really sure why there was a delayed response to this commercial, it now has social media abuzz with outrage. Most are just comparing it to Budweiser working with Mulvaney to make their own “woke” ad. Some feel Miller is alienating its mostly male customer base by acknowledging how sexist some of its previous marketing campaigns were. Making the argument men like to look at half-naked women, so people will stop drinking their beer. Totally ignoring the fact that more than just heterosexual men drink beer.
While the pushback against sexist advertising goes back decades, it doesn’t seem like Miller was forced to do this. In a press release, the beer maker said “many in the beer industry (Miller Lite included) alienated the very people who helped create it” by “dividing women as consumers, objectifying them in their ads.”
“We wanted to acknowledge the missteps in representation of women in beer advertising by cleaning up not just our s***, but the whole industry’s s***,” Elizabeth Hitch, senior director of marketing for the beer brand, said.
If a private enterprise wants to destroy its own, outdated, marketing materials, they have every right to. They also have the right to give back to small brewers however they see fit. And the public has every right to disagree with these choices. But to paint it as some overarching plot to make beer “woke” seems like a huge and confusing reach. We assure you, you can drink beer just fine without getting a tingle in our nether regions. You can check out the ad for yourself below: