For years, bored beer marketing departments have been finding more and more tediously useless gimmicks to make the seemingly relaxing task of pouring beer down my throat more complicated than it needs to be.
There's been the Coors cold-activated bottles and cans, the Coors vented wide-mouth can (and now a double-vented wide-mouth can! For double the venting power!), the Bud Light label bottles where they gave you a little area to scratch your name (or, most likely, some profanity or a lewd drawing), the Miller punch-top can and most infamously – for me, at least – the Miller vortex bottle, which was supposed to funnel the beer into your mouth with some cyclone action, but really just gave the liquid some bonus moguls to bounce over on its way out of the bottle. Not NASA's finest work.
This past Thanksgiving, I discovered my Miller Lite can had a Taste Protector Lid. Let's just sidestep the whole question of what exactly a Taste Protector Lid does to earn that title (apparently nothing more than a regular ol' lid. It's the equivalent of Ford promoting their new cars by calling the hood a Engine Protector Lid), and instead focus on Miller's blindness to the fact that if I cared about the taste of my beer, I wouldn't be drinking Miller Lite. Or any light beer, period.
It seems that the bored brain trust, however, has found a gimmick that I can get behind: going retro.
Miller announced the launch of the new Original Lite can on 12-, 16- and 24-ounce cans of Miller Lite. The limited edition can, a replica of the 1975 Miller Lite can that helped spawn the light beer craze, will be available in stores starting on Jan. 1 and will be available through March 2014.
It's a nifty little throwback. No, I wasn't alive – much less able to drink – back when the can was originally out in 1975, so I have no personal or emotional connection to it. But it's a good, classic looking can – dare I say classy? I don't, but I'm tempted – and if they're going to spend money on a marketing gimmick, might as well make it a clean-looking, well-done nod to the past rather than Triple-Vented Flavor Protection Siding or a Flavor-Activation Tab or something like that.
It looks almost identical to the old original can. From the looks of the publicity photos, they didn't quite go all out and give it the old soup can look (they also changed the inscription on the back to make reference to its limited edition status). But that's just nitpicking. Otherwise else, they did a great job of making it look like it was pulled right out of the Ford administration.
The Original Lite can will also apparently be making an appearance in the upcoming Christmas release "Anchorman 2: The Legendary Advertising Campaign Continues."
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