Many millennials (those born around the turn of this century) swoon for ideas like “authentic”, “vintage” and “classic”. Miller Lite has stumbled upon a way to appeal to that market – and their parents.
To coincide with the 2013 release of the film Anchorman 2, which it sponsored, Miller Lite released a limited edition can with its original logo dating back to the 1970s – the time in which the film was set.
However, the popularity of the new design far exceeded expectations for a little film-related novelty, sales increased markedly, and Miller decided to keep its new “old” logo.
It might seem odd that a logo so old would do so well in a completely different social climate, but a brief look at the trend in logo design shows that although the logo is old, it’s no longer dated.
As always, many trends run concurrently, but the one type of logo that is growing in popularity, probably thanks to the aforementioned millennials, is the vintage style logo, exemplified by a few key features:
- Hand lettering
- Vintage flourish
- Vintage typeset feel
- Logo patch/badge
The old Miller logo has a vintage typeset feel, a prominent oval patch beneath the iconic “Lite”, vintage flourishes around the badge, and most importantly, genuine vintage credentials.
Some have speculated that while the younger generation is attracted to the design because it looks iconic, the older generation is attracted to the design because for them it is iconic.
In the days when the logo first appeared, Miller Lite was the number one best-selling light beer in the US, and it was the first light beer to be successfully marketed to men. The parents of millennials may be buying the beer for nostalgia’s sake.
Either way, in a time when craft beers are taking over a fair share of the beer market, focussing on the roots of a brand and emphasising its authentically vintage age might be a way to compete with these whippersnappers.