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Miller High Life Passes the Century Mark

Jan 6, 2004 - Miller High Life, once the flagship brand of Miller Brewing, passed the

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century mark on January 2nd. The venerable Miller brand has become

overshadowed by trendier drinks and pushed aside by light and low-carb

beers, but Miller Brewing's former flagship brand is trying to revive

its heritage. High Life was the beer behind the "Miller Time" campaign

of the 1970s, when the beer was promoted as a reward at the end of a

long, hard day at work. The brand peaked in 1979; today, it's the 9th

biggest brand in the U.S., eclipsed by other brands, including stable

mate Miller Lite. The High Life brand is Miller's oldest, and made its

debut in 1903, about 50 years after German immigrant Frederick Miller

founded Miller Brewing Company. After Miller peaked in sales in the

1960s and 1970s, High Life sales, as well as sales of other aging

domestic brands such as Old Style and Old Milwaukee, have been in

decline over the last two decades. Now, Miller is looking to refocus on

a niche base of High Life customers. The brand's current media

advertising spots feature the populist "high life man." The marketing

strategy might even be paying off, even though High Life's production

continues to be just a fraction of its peak; brand sales have stabilized

and even increased slightly in recent years. The brand may have hope

among younger consumers, too, if the rise in Pabst Blue Ribbon's

popularity among the under-30 crowd is any indication.


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