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Finding a Brand Voice—Miller High Life

Finding a brand voice is hard. Really hard.

But there are brands that do it well (at least for awhile). Apple. Mini Cooper. The Economist. Every time you see a marketing effort for one of these brands, it’s as if it were created by the same person that did the last one. Different execution, same voice.

How do they do it where others fail?

Finding the right brand voice requires two things. First you have to know exactly who your consumer is. If your target market is “everyone” you will never have a brand voice that stands out. You’ll sound just like everyone else targeting everyone. Second, you need an almost fascist dedication to consistency over time. It also helps to work with a good writer.

One brand that did it exceptionally well from 1997 until 2005 was Miller High Life. In a category of cheap jokes masquerading as ads, it is clear that the MHL brand team understood exactly who they were talking to—men. Real men. Not college boys who greet each other by saying, “Wazzup,” a dozen times. Men who could appreciate skills like backing up a boat trailer.

 

 

Men who weren’t worried about their diets.

 

 

Men who don’t cheat.

 

 

Real men.

A terrific example of a brand voice (not just Doug Jeffer’s voice overs, but also the writing, the photography, the subject matter) used consistently over eight years to reinforce a strong brand story.

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