Instead of popping the cork this holiday season, the Champagne of Beers wants drinkers to pry off the top of its new limited-release Champagne-sized bottles.
Miller High Life this week launched nationwide for the first time its custom 750-milliliter bottles for the final two months of 2018. The national roll out of the specialty bottles comes after a successful two-market test in Chicago and Milwaukee in 2017 and a single-market test in Chicago a year earlier.
“The Champagne bottles are an amazing way to remind consumers that Miller High Life is the Champagne of Beers,” says Taylor Brown, marketing manager for the brand. “They give consumers a reason to think about the beer as a special drink for the holidays — something just as festive as Champagne.”
With necks wrapped in gold foil fastened with a wrap featuring the Girl in the Moon, the heavy-gauge bottles have a long, narrow neck and broad shoulders embossed with “The Champagne of Beers” in raised glass letters. Their festive and distinctive look is designed to help get more displays of Miller High Life on the floor at retail.
“Around the holidays, a lot of the floor displays are often composed of wine and spirits, but beer is actually the largest driver of alcohol sales. We wanted to give retailers and our distributor partners another reason to get High Life on the floor during the holidays,” Brown says.
Don’t expect them to last long, Brown says. Once they’re sold out, they’re gone. The clear, 25.4-ounce bottles moved quickly in Chicago and Milwaukee last year, and “we had several calls from retailers and distributors asking for more.”
The Champagne bottles will be supported by a dedicated creative campaign that includes digital video, social, out-of-home advertising, a public relations campaign and targeted television. The suggested retail price is $3.49.
In addition to its off-premise strategy that aims to get more High Life on the floor, the brand also is making a push for top bar and restaurant accounts to use the large-format bottles in holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“Not only is this a thank you to our loyal drinkers for all of their years of supporting the brand, it’s a new way to bring new drinkers into the brand and show them why the Champagne of Beers is worthy of their attention,” Brown says.
Attracting millennial-age drinkers is a priority for the brand, which turns 115 years old December 30. On that front, the early returns are good: Miller High Life is up double digits in millennial-heavy bars in Brooklyn and also performing well in many other urban hubs like Chicago and Philadelphia in the on-premise, Brown says.
“Bars are calling and asking for this,” she says. “Their customers are saying something we’ve known for years: Miller High Life is a cool brand.”