Miller Lite helps fans ‘escape 2020’ with 1975-themed rental

Dive Brief:

  • Miller Lite teamed up with Hotels.com to rent out a 1975-themed Miller Timeshare for $96 per night, the beer brand announced. The 1975 theme and $96 price are a nod toward the brand’s founding year and its 96-calorie original light beer, respectively.
  • The space harkens back to decor from the ’70s, including era-appropriate furniture, an avocado-colored kitchen, shag carpets and wood paneling. The rental comes with quarantine-friendly activities, such as a pinball machine, record player and board games from the decade.
  • The Mona Lake, Michigan, abode sleeps eight and will be available for up to three nights between Sept. 10 and Sept. 30.

Dive Insight:

The Miller Timeshare taps into the experiential hospitality trend but updates it for the current stage of the coronavirus pandemic, where some restrictions on travel and in-person socializing have abated. Like experiential hospitality activations by Blockbuster, Mattel and a previous Lisa Frank effort in the past year, the Miller Timeshare taps into nostalgia through themed stays decorated with era-appropriate furniture, snacks and activities. This tactic is increasingly apt and may stand out as consumers grow blind to advertisements after being inundated for years. Now, Miller is looking to take consumers back to a simpler era before the disruptions and stress brought on by the public health crisis.

Given how the pandemic has largely disrupted air travel, Miller Lite is also seizing on the summer road trip trend. The location in Michigan is about a three-hour drive from both Chicago and Detroit, making it a road trip destination for two major markets of potential fans. Pinterest searches for “road trip routes” surged almost 250% in June, compared to a year earlier, leading brands including Disney, Hilton and Southwest Airlines to develop content and campaigns for the platform.

The retro-themed campaign isn’t the first time the brand has looked to adapt experiential activations for the pandemic. As the health crisis began disrupting weddings, the company ran a contest in April to provide winners with beer, an officiant, a photographer and $10,000 toward honeymoon and canceled wedding costs.

The campaign comes days after sister brand Coors Light kicked off a sweepstakes that gives consumers a chance to win a vacation to the travel destinations they’ve been using as video chat backgrounds during the pandemic. Like the Miller Timeshare, the effort suggests marketers are beginning to restart pre-pandemic tactics involving travel and experiential activations.

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