Miller High Life is Helping Couples Get Married in Quarantine


As you might imagine, the wedding industry is going through a rough period. Couples who were planning on tying the knot are now in quarantine away from friends and family, and their options are pretty limited – they can either get married in a really simplified ceremony at home (and maybe celebrate with loved ones over Zoom), or postpone the nuptials until after the lockdown is lifted. Many couples are opting for the latter, but it’s a choice that comes with its own difficulties, including the possibility of losing money on deposits.

For those who want to move full steam ahead with their ceremonies (albeit, probably not in the way that they were envisioning), Miller High Life wants to step in and be part of the event. With their “Wedding at Your Doorstep” competition, the brewer is offering three couples the opportunity to receive a “front porch wedding” that includes a licensed officiant, a professional photographer and photo package, beer (naturally), and $10,000. The cash prize can be especially handy for couples who have lost some of their deposits, or otherwise want to put it towards a future honeymoon. Miller High Life began promoting the campaign across social media on April 23.

In order to enter, eligible contestants (meaning both parties are over 21 and live in a participating state) need to submit a short essay (150 words or less) describing how their wedding has been affected by COVID-19.

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, marketers have struggled to figure out the best way to operate. They need to be able to do their jobs, but promoting non-essential products and services is tricky to do right now without coming off as inappropriate or insensitive. Even the language used in marketing copy seems to parrot the same sentimental, corny phrases – namely some variation of “in these uncertain times”, a euphemism that brands have widely adopted in order to seem empathetic without veering into medical territory. After all, brands and consumers alike seem uncomfortable with every ad for a car or a chicken sandwich prefacing itself by saying “we know that people are getting sick.”

So if consumers are already tired of seeing the same thing, what are marketers to do? This Miller High Life campaign might point to the future of disaster marketing. It acknowledges the pandemic in a very specific way that still feels appropriate for the brand, because it doesn’t feel out of place for Miller High Life to be part of a conversation about celebrations. It also doesn’t come off as an apologetic or awkward ice breaker for a larger marketing campaign, like many others currently do. By focusing specifically on weddings, Miller High Life is able to give back to beer fans in a way that is on-brand, personal, and tangible.

Going forward, it would be great to see more brands taking this road. The pandemic is a sensitive subject, but by staying true to the core values of a brand (in Miller High Life’s case, having a good time with a classic beer), marketers can still find meaningful ways to connect with consumers.

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