Miller Lite's 'Tastes Great, Less Filling' Cracks Open the Nostalgia

Gerald Ford would doubtless approve

It's beginning to feel like 1975 in here.

Nostalgia's a perennial brand go-to, offering comforting slices of yore for folks of a certain age and introducing young consumers to classic themes.

And so, Miller Lite reimagines its "Tastes Great, Less Filling" debate. The concept fueled fun commercials with seemingly endless variations in the 1970s and early-80s. Spots featured sports figures, Hollywood stars, fringe celebs and more. (The one with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and team manager Billy Martin, spoofing their contentious relationship, was a huge fave.)

This schtick was beyond iconic. If you watched TV in the Ford/Carter era, you knew these ads.

The reboot from Leo Burnett mirrors the tacky-wacky tone of the original campaign. It all starts with NFL great J.J. Watt emerging from retirement to serve as a "Miller Lite All-Star" (as brand endorsers were known back in the day).

His sporty pals Reggie Miller, David Ortiz, Mia Hamm and Jorge Posada follow suit, and actor Luke Wilson shows up, too.

Miller Lite | Destiny

All in all, it's a neat homage that captures the irrepressible in-jokey vibe of its predecessor. The push feels fresh yet familiar, with the cast poking mild fun at themselves while building a little brand.

The joke should work even for younger fans who weren't around in the disco years. Here, we're awash in frothy pop culture. What more can you ask from beer advertising?

"I've always been Team Less Filling, and that won't change, but to have the opportunity to work with Miller Lite to officially reignite this major debate is pretty special being from Wisconsin," Watt says in campaign materials. Let’s keep the Lite-hearted conversation alive for another decade!"

Hungry Man's Bryan Buckley and Ben Callner directed.

Miller Lite | Suite

There's a "Beer Tapes" tie in, too. It features a playable VHS and a tape-shaped lovely glass (which riffs on the Stanley Cup craze).

Fans can pick up the Beer Tapes at the last Blockbuster store in Bend, Ore., on March 28. They'll also get a chance to win the items through an online sweepstakes.

Miller Lite | Ritual

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