“Man up, because if you’re drinking a light beer without taste, you’re missing the point of drinking beer.”

-Some Miller Lite Douchebag

The Aleheads disdain for Big Beer advertising has been mentioned in the past, but few campaigns have riled us up quite as fervently as Miller Lite’s “Man Up” spots. If you haven’t seen them, they all follow the same basic pattern: A man orders a light beer in a bar, the impossibly gorgeous female bartender asks him if he cares how it tastes, when the man says “no” he is then mocked for some feminine accessory (man-purse, dragon-encrusted outfit, lower back tattoo, etc.) and told to come back when he has “manned up” and is ready to consume some “Triple Hops Brewed” Miller Lite. Why do these ads enrage the generally comatose Aleheads? Let’s delve…

  1. Light beer has no taste. That’s why it exists. It’s for people that want to hold a bottle of beer but have no interest in ingesting something that actually has flavor, body, aroma, or character. Asking someone if they care how their light beer tastes is like asking them if they care about which turnip plunges their toaster. The words simply have no meaning.
  2. I have, sadly, sampled all of the major light beer brands in my day (What do you want from me? High school drinkers can’t be choosers). While there are certainly worse brands, the term that comes to mind when thinking about Miller Lite is decidedly not “full-flavored”. More like, “slightly bitter water with a metallic aftertaste”. There is virtually no difference between Miller Lite and any other major brand of light beer. You can disagree, but you’re wrong.
  3. Apparently if you don’t care what your beer tastes like, you’re a woman. At least, that’s what I get out of these ads. According to Miller, men who say that taste “doesn’t matter” to them are the same ones who wear or utilize stereotypically female accessories. The implication is that the more feminine you are, the less of an opinion you have about what goes into your mouth…because, of course, women are too stupid to know any better. That’s crackerjack ad work, Miller! Let’s insult anything even remotely feminine (including, by extension, half of humanity) by claiming that those characteristics turn you into a mindless, opinion-free sheep.
  4. The other implication is that perhaps the men who don’t care about the flavor of their beer are a bit, if not entirely, gay. Nothing classier than a major corporation subtly promoting homophobia and gay-bashing. You’re on fire, Miller!
  5. The hot female bartenders in these ads apparently spend most of their time mocking their patrons for what they drink. I’ve got news for you…bartenders don’t care what you drink. Their job is to get booze in front of you as quickly and efficiently as possible…whether said booze is a tasteless light beer or high-octane Imperial stout. It doesn’t matter to them as long as you tip well. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a patron be insulted by a tap-jockey for their choice of suds. Of course, I’ve never seen a bartender as attractive as the ones in the Miller Lite ads, so it’s possible I’m just hanging out in the wrong bars.
  6. Triple hops brewed? That’s your “ace in the hole” Miller Lite? As Doc was quick to point out over e-mail the other day, almost ALL beers are “triple hops brewed”. While the term is fairly meaningless, I assume Miller is referring to the fact that they do three hop additions when brewing their beer. For anyone that has ever home-brewed or worked in a commercial brewery, this claim is utterly laughable. It’s like saying your beer is brewed with water or yeast. For most beer styles, hops are added at three points during the boil to add bittering in the first stage, flavor in the second stage, and aroma in the third. All of Miller Lite’s competitors do this as well. What’s even more ridiculous is the fact that Miller is touting the use of hops in its beer despite the fact that Miller Lite is NOT a hoppy beer! At all! No light beers are particularly hoppy, but Miller even less so than most!!! They’re basically bragging about an attribute of their beer that NO ONE would actually associate with said beer.
  7. And finally, the part of the ad that spurs my ire every time I hear it…the last seven words: “you’re missing the point of drinking beer.” According to Miller, if you don’t care what your light beer tastes like, you’re missing the entire point of drinking beer. Really Miller? Please enlighten me. I thought the point of drinking beer was to enjoy and savor the aroma and taste of a complex, full-flavored, delicious beverage that has had historical and social importance for humanity since the dawn of time. Apparently I was wrong. Apparently the point of drinking beer is to find a watery, insipid, mass-produced piece-of-shit beer that is slightly less watery and insipid than some other mass-produced piece-of-shit beer. Good to know!

I’m feeling magnanimous so allow me to throw out my own tag line, free of charge:

“Wake up, because if you’re drinking a Miller Lite, you’re missing the point of drinking beer.”

15 thoughts on “MAN UP

  1. I actually hadn’t broken down in my head how awful these spots are, or why- I just had the notion that I hated them. Thanks for doing the hard work!

  2. From another point of view, does my lack of tramp stamp and reticence to drink beer evocative of watered-down urine make me less of a woman? However will I be able to land a man to provide me with a house to clean and many, many babies unless I get over this infernal predeliction for beer that tastes like something?? Perhaps the Church of Latter-Day Saints will find me a man that likes light beer, and force us to marry and drink each other’s beverage of choice. That’s got to be the solution.

  3. Actually, LadyJay, the Aleheads have a term for women like you…”keeper”.

    If you DO end up going the Mormon route (and really, why wouldn’t you?), just remember, “if you’re drinking skim milk without any taste, you’re missing the point of drinking milk.”

  4. In my local and most of the real ale pubs I drink in Sheffield it is certainly the case that the opinion of the person behind counts a great when it comes to selecting the right beverage. Any publican with any self-respect and an ounce of interest in selling quality beer would refuse to sell Miller.

  5. This is why God invented DVR.
    Sure, I’ll watch football today on somewhat of a delay, but I won’t have to see these idiotic spots.

  6. So, the reason you drink beer, besides enjoying the aroma and taste, is because it “has had historical and social importance for humanity since the dawn of time.”??? Yeah it sounds good but that is BS… I drink beer because I like the way it makes me feel.. the taste and aroma have little to do with it.

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