The big breweries spend most of the year and the vast majority of their humongous ad budgets trying to win over the frat house crowd via the punch line humor so beloved by Anheuser-Busch -- and more recently the Man Law campaign that struck a chord with many Miller Lite fans.
But come the holidays, both major brewers take a respite from all the high jinks and try -- with some sincerity -- to get with the spirit of the season. Anheuser-Busch always can be counted on to trot out the iconic Clydesdales, usually in an appropriately snowy and sentimental setting.
But Miller Brewing has taken a snappier approach with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, a popular symphonic rock group that has scored huge success with its holiday records. Last season, Miller set images of a home in Ohio to a TSO holiday composition. This year's Miller's holiday spot from Logan Productions/Milwaukee is set to TSO's "Wizards in Winter," and features a different house ablaze with lights, including a huge Miller sign suspended above the building's roof.
The spot's charm, of course, comes from the way the TSO music matches the flashing of the holiday lights themselves and from the edit of a highly rhythmic montage of shots of the brightly colored lights on and around the house. Then there's the spot's final, delightful kicker: an image of a Miller Lite six-pack decked out with its own set of twinkling holiday lights.
And topping it all off -- the fun play on words that is the concluding on-screen message: "Enjoy the Lites."
Lew's view: B+