Copy Writing

Miller Lite The Original Social Media

During the height of the internet boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s one of my favorite TV commercials was the Miller Lite spot “Evil Beaver” produced by Traktor. Like so many ads at that time the commercial was completely insane and unlike any beer commercial being run at the time. The thing is though, it did its job. It was fun, memorable, associated the product with the brand and got people talking. And it was part of a larger campaign that tied everything together with a single tagline “Art Directed by Dick”. All of the Miller Lite spots were well-produced, clever, and really thought out, but “Evil Beaver is the one that stuck with me. (probably because it’s so off the wall)

FAst forward to 2019/2020 and Miller lite has scored another home run as far as I’m concerned. Working with DDB Chicago. they are playing into the current zeitgeist of people pulling away from social media and the backlash of fake followers, likes, and the overwhelming need for continuous engagement in these spaces.

Building on its campaign positioning of Miller Time as the ‘original social media,’ Miller Lite is bringing a limited number of its dark-coloured Offline Cans to bars across the country to inspire more drinkers to take a break from social media and spend time with friends over a beer. The limited-edition matte black cans will be available in more than 500 bars and taverns in 27 states starting this week. Miller Lite’s Offline Can will be supported by two new TV ads, social media (ironically) and a point-of-sale marketing campaign that aims to inspire drinkers to invite friends for a night out over Miller Lite.

In select bars where the cans are available, Miller Lite will reward some drinkers for going offline with their own Miller Lite Offline Can, where permitted and while supplies last. Using Facebook’s new ‘SideFlix’ technology, bar-goers can invite their friends to join them in putting down their phones and ‘going offline’. If the group collectively puts their phones down for 30 minutes, they could be eligible to receive a Miller Lite Offline Can. SideFlix is a digital experience using Facebook Instant Games and Facebook Messenger that offers friends the opportunity to share in a connected experience across their devices when they’re together in real life (IRL).

Both DDB and Miller Lite saw the potential to leverage this technology to encourage and reward ‘device-down’ connection when friends spend time together over beers. Miller Lite is one of the first brands globally to utilize Facebook’s SideFlix and this is a first-of-its-kind experience for Molson Coors Beverage Company. Created by DDB Chicago, Miller Lite’s new 15-second spots, meanwhile, focus on missed connections — people staring at their phones instead of interacting with friends. Like the first ‘It’s Miller Time’ spot, ‘Followers’ that began airing in fall, the new ads finish with the tagline: ‘Here’s to the original social media.’

Sometimes You Have To Toot Your Own Horn A Little.

I have been maintaining this blog site for more than 10 years now, and it has also been a place to showcase my portfolio and resume for freelance and contract opportunities. For the last 5 of the 10 ten years, I’ve been posting to Modular 4, I’ve been saying to myself I really need to create a separate site that is exclusively focused on the work I’ve been doing and remove the portfolio and resume form here. Unfortunately, life just always got in the way. I’d think about it, procrastinate, fiddle around with a new site layout, get caught up in something else, forget about it, try to come back to it and never actually get anything done.

Well, guess what? I finally got off my butt and got something done. The new site for Wade Johnston Graphic Design features projects that I have worked on over the last 10 plus years, and services offered. It took me long enough, but the site is finally live. So I’m tooting my own horn and saying I’m open for business. That’s a bit of a lie though, I’ve been open and doing design business for the last 30 years. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to new opportunities though, so if you need design and advertising help give me a shout. I’ll be updating the new site regularly with new featured projects and projects that showcase specific skills, so if you are interested check back every so often. I’m also in the process of connecting the new SquareSpace site to my social media accounts so new pages and posts should start populating publically soon.

I’ll continue to post here but within the next few weeks, the menu items for my portfolio and resume will be removed. This website will continue to be what it has been for the last decade, a place where I can sound off about whatever I want, however, I want. If you have been one of the people that have read my posts here over the last 10 years, thanks. I really appreciate it.

If you hop over to the new site, I hope you like what you see.

A Great Print Campaign for Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

Since I am going on a short vacation there won’t be  a “Design Friday” post this week. So I have decided to post something today instead. There is a series of ads for Mount Sinai Hospital that have been running in the New York Times, and regional magazines lately. Mount Sinai Hospital, located in New York is one of the oldest, and most prestigious hospitals in United States.

This print campaign deals with a variety of serious illnesses and seeks to present Mount Sinai Hospital as the best possible choice for treatment. These are delicate subjects which have been executed with brilliant creative and flawless execution.

The copy is simple but powerful, approaching the subject in a way that draws out the readers emotions connecting at a human level. The photography is realistic, sophisticated, and beautiful which helps in targeting the upscale demographic. The balance of the layout is clean but original with the placement of body copy and logo at the top of the page above the headline. The designer has used a classic yet contemporary font (Mrs. Eaves). The pages are duo-toned in warm hues to help soften the overall look. The photography doesn’t show patient faces, which allows the reader to imagine how this could be their own story.

“Jay Marsen’s liver was badly damaged. Cirrhosis and two cancerous tumors had left him in dire need of a transplant. Without one, he knew he had less than two years to live. But hope arrived when his son offered to donate sixty-percent of his liver. Dr. Juan del Rio Martin led a team to successfully make the transplant, knowing each liver would regenerate over time. Now father and son are both doing well, and proud to share much more than a name.  Another day, another breakthrough.

In addition there is series of other smaller ads which are more minimal in their approach yet stand out with great imagery and a well balanced sense of humor. Even though the second series of ads builds from a humorous rather than emotional perspective, the overall voice for Mount Sinai Hospital, is maintained across the entire print campaign.

This series of advertisements does a remarkable job well while presenting the Mount Sinai Hospital image with dignity, creativity, and a level of sophistication that the institution deserves.