Four of the five top-selling beers in the U.S. are light beers, but according to one recent study, we've been looking for beer alternatives. Overall, beer sales are down for the third year in a row, so marketing for the critical summer months has already begun. And now, the $50 billion a year beer industry has some new ideas on tap.
But 37 years after the first light beer was poured, the industry may be grasping for a new identity.
Marketing expert Tim Arnold told CBS News, "I think the light beer category has lost touch with the beer drinker. They got tied up with drinkability and taste, and while those are good valid reasons why for beer marketing, it's really about an emotional connection."
Amid sagging sales, two of the world's largest breweries, Anheuser Busch InBev and MillerCoors, are trying to reconnect, moving away from familiar themes of carbs, calories and taste, and opting instead for an image of brotherhood, bound by beer.
That familiar tagline, "It's Miller time," first seen more than three decades ago in ads for "Miller High Life" is the centerpiece of Miller Lite's new commercials.
Andy England, chief marketing officer for MillerCoors, "That's a line that really resonates, and frankly, we're repurposing it to focus on the sociability of getting together with friends over a Miller Lite."
And the country's top brew, Bud Light, was once the beer that "won't fill you up and never let you down."
These days, the company advertises the beer is the "sure sign of a good time."
Companies are hoping this latest ad blitz will get their brews back into the bellies of consumers, as beer sales volumes have dropped over the last three years, according to the Beverage Information Group, an information source for the beverage alcohol industry.
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