There are very few commercials that evoke a feeling of home for me…not only this time of year…but anytime for that matter. Holidays fill us all with a waterfall of emotions and memories. The brilliance of this spot is its heart filled simplicity reminiscent of a Currier and Ives greeting card.
I remember when I first saw this spot…it feels as though it was yesterday. Memories of the country home in which I lived all of my childhood. The mountains of pure white snow that buried our roads…the sleigh rides…the horses we owned…the lights on our two hundred year home…the historic barn that sat in our yard…and the wreath that welcomed guests upon our door. All dear symbols to me from a time that is nearly a forgotten memory.
Maybe advertising agencies were wiser then…they had the where with all to set the product aside. They understood that if you return to memories or experiences that you could permanently plant an impression.
Unbelievably this was a beer commercial which had literally nothing to do with beer….nothing other then a simple Christmas wish. But as a child who didn’t care about beer..this was the most welcomed commercial of the season my eyes had seen.
Unfortunately, the commercial spot no longer airs but its pure simplicity was a brilliant heartfelt Christmas card greeting that many of us associate with simpler times.
“Miller Holiday Greetings”
The commercial filmed and aired for the first time in 1977 was produced and directed by Backer and Spielvogel. It won a gold medal from the Art Directors Club of New York as the best 60-second commercial in 1977. The spot later aired in 1981 as noted by the copyright.
I’m not certain of the origin of inspiration for the Creative Director…but it was pure Americana. Perhaps the executives of Backer and Spielvogel owned country property in Connecticut or up state New York. Or maybe they pulled an idea or two from the printmaking firm of Currier & Ives which was famous for producing some of the most iconic and popular American art of the 19th century. The company, headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895), specialized in publishing hand colored lithographic prints.
The American Homestead Winter print (1869) was part of the popular “American Homestead” series, that also included scenes produced from the spring, summer, and autumn.
If I were the ad executives at Miller Brewing Company…now a MillerCoors Brewing Company…I’d dig into my box of old Christmas cards from years gone by and re-produce a greeting that many of us would love to see again.
Happy Holidays to you and yours.