"In the '50s, choosing was easier," says Mark Barden, a partner at San Francisco ad agency Black Rocket. "There were a few large brands per category and a few TV channels broadcasting simple, 'washes whiter' type claims." Most beer advertising, for example, targeted a rational beer drinker, one who chose his beer based on how it tasted. Slogans such as Miller High Life's "The Champagne of Beers" reflected this approach.
These days, the drinking game is more complicated. In response to the microbrew trend, Miller created the American Specialty & Craft Beer Co., but more recently, it has gone in the opposite direction: In 1997, it launched a campaign for Miller Genuine Draft that boldly asserts, "It's Time for a Good Old Macrobrew."