Ad Nauseam: Miller High Life’s Subversive Bicycle Commercial

During the big game, the commercials you most often see are pimping cars, pizza and beer, with nary a meaningful message among them. That’s what’s refreshing about this Miller High Life ad, which is still trying to sell you beer, but through a decidedly subversive tack. Seriously, I don’t think Clarence could have written a much better script for a Streetfilm spoof.

The commercial is part of a series for Miller Brewing Company by Errol Morris, the Academy Award-Winning director of The Fog of War. The series tries to appeal to the archetypal blue collar American working man who busts his tail at a job that doesn’t appreciate his sweat and toil, only to come home and find the world around him is obsessed with counting calories and buying crap from William Sonoma for the kitchen.

The ads are highly tongue-in cheek and many of the subjects remind me of my grandfather, a sharp-tongued, no-nonsense man who served in World War II, still sees the world’s politics through Cold-War-red shades and thinks the hippies ruined America’s values.

In the spot above, a heavy-set man you’d otherwise expect behind the wheel of a Hummer is pedaling his city bicycle through a snowstorm, with two six packs of beer in the front basket. As he rides, the gruff voice of the narrator says, "Ah, that’s the way, patriot. Let the OPECs keep their gasoline. We’ll just tap into a far more efficient energy source: man power. If we all learn to pull our weight, nobody, nobody, will be able to siphon away our high life."

Now if only Miller didn’t taste bad, I might be inclined to tip one back this lovely Friday afternoon. Fortunately for me, the good folks at New Belgium Brewing Co. have an IPA that’s much more my speed and they brewed it with the power of wind.

Here’s to a great weekend, patriots.

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