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Miller Lite has released a campaign directed at social media addiction. By going 'dark' on social media and offering free beer for unfollowing its account, the brand hopes to tackle the negative effects of screen time and foster the social and physical interactions that beer consumption thrives on. We explore the insights behind behind alcohol brands promoting IRL socializing.

Americans who unfollow the brand on social media are eligible for a free Miller Lite if they send a screenshot proving that they’ve unfollowed through the campaign website. Caveat: you have to be of legal drinking age. The beer brand will also take a two-week hiatus from both Facebook and Instagram, where they have about 2 million and 119,000 followers, respectively. “We know that today’s generation of new drinkers will spend more than five years of their lifetime on social media, and yet are only meeting up with their close friends less than a few times a month,” says Anup Shah, VP of the Miller family of brands. “By reintroducing Miller Time, we want to remind them that while social media is great, it’s no replacement for hanging out in-person over a Miller Lite.”

Miller Lite Campaign Encourages IRL Socializing
Taylor Grote (2017) ©

According to one estimate, 210 million people worldwide suffer from internet and social media addictions. Moreover, 74% of Facebook users visit the platform daily, with 51% saying they visit several times a day. As smartphones and other technologies alter leisure habits, the resulting impact on traditional forms of social interaction – meeting up at a bar or pub, for example – has been negative, which gives brands an opportunity to promote IRL connections. Taking an anti screen time approach is also likely to resonate with Americans who generally have negative views on the consequences of social media. Miller Lite isn’t the first alcohol brand to highlight the perils of social media use. Samuel Smith, a British pub chain, put a ban on using phones in an attempt to preserve 'social conversations'. And the 'Joie de Bière' ad by Stella Artois encourages people to put their phones away and savor drinking beer with friends.

Makail Johannesson is a freelance behavioural analyst at Canvas8. He holds a Master's in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London. Apart from mind wandering about the human experience, he enjoys reading books and conversations at the pub



05 Nov 19
2 min read

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