Photo: Miller Coors
Miller Lite has launched a “punch top can” version of its beer, which allows drinkers to shotgun the brew more easily. The easily-perforated top creates a hole where air can flow into the can as beer flows out into your mouth.The new launch will almost certainly invite the attention of regulators and litigators who will want to know whether the company is encouraging binge drinking or running afoul of the beer industry’s own marketing guidelines on responsible drinking.
Miller Coors’ ad agency DraftFCB created two commercials for the product, both of which show the beer in party situations but neither display anyone chugging. Nonetheless, that seems to be pretty much what it’s for. There are several beauty shots of beer gushing freely from the cans in a way that doesn’t happen if you’re sipping your beer like a civilized human being. One of them shows how the pouring beer would appear from the point of view of someone holding the can at eye level—or shotgun level, depending on your interpretation.
The voiceover says the hole is “for a smoother pour.”
As an attention-getting device, it’s a great idea. It instantly brands Miller Lite as the party beer. And it’s of a one with Miller’s Vortex bottle, which has spiral grooves inside the neck, which “lets the great pilsner taste flow right out.”
State attorneys general, however, may not be so happy about it. Usually, when alcohol companies develop new products specifically designed to get consumers drunker quicker, they swing into action with new restrictions on sales. That happened in 2009, when Four Loko—a giant can of caffeinated alcohol—was all but banned in several states.
a. Although beer advertising and marketing materials may show beer being consumed (where permitted by media standards), advertising and marketing materials should not depict situations where beer is being consumed rapidly, excessively, involuntarily, as part of a drinking game, or as a result of a dare.
Watch the ads and see if Miller has crossed the line:
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