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The Miller Lite Commercial Controversy
By Scott Spicciati Editor | Scott's Archive
January 17, 2003
What is all the fuss about that new Miller Lite commercial? Apparently, not everyone has taken a liking to the controversial TV ad titled, "Catfight." More than 400 people have sent angry e-mails to the Milwaukee brewer and the networks airing the commercial. If you're a football fan, you've probably caught the commercial once or twice or twenty times during the recent NFL playoffs these past few weeks. Most of the complaints have come from women. Their screaming that the commercial degrades all women, putting them down as being sexual objects. But if anyone should be upset, it shouldn't be the women, it should be the men.
A couple of guys are sitting at a bar drinking their Miller Lites and playing the hypothetical game. We've all played it before. What would we do with $10 million, what would we do with our three wishes, and so on. In the commercial, these guys are describing what they think would be the perfect beer commercial. We then see the fantasy play out as one of the guys describe it. Two women are sitting in an outside café when the begin arguing over why Miller Lite tastes so great. I believe one woman liked the taste, the other liked how the beer is less filling. The clothes start coming off (hence the title "Catfight") and the dispute goes mobile. They wrestle in a water fountain and eventually land in a mud pit. It's a stupid commercial, but harmless at the same time.
If anyone should complain, it should be the men. The commercial isn't about making women look like objects, it's about making men look like womanizers. Why aren't the men taking a stand? One of two reasons:
1. Men really are perverts and do fantasize about beer-drinking women and would like more of those commercials.
2. Men realize that it is just a harmless commercial and nothing to get worked up over.
My bet is that most men fall under the second reason. The commercial is aired on the football networks, not on Lifetime, Hallmark and the other channels with a larger female viewer base. Yet the complaints continue to pour in. ''Every time I see it, I cringe,'' says Laura Ries, an image guru. ''It's explicit. It's degrading. It has no real message, except all men are idiots and all they think about are girls mud wrestling.''
So men are idiots, let us deal with it. However, an explanation from Miller would be appropriate at this time. ''They (21-to-31-year-old beer drinkers) see it for what it is: a hysterical insight into guys' mentality,'' says Tom Bick, Miller Lite brand manager. ''It's really a lighthearted spoof of guys' fantasies.'' That explanation works for me. No, the media hasn't gone too far, but the truth is: sex sells. Recently, Neil Cavuto of FOX NEWS was running the story in his new segment. The interesting thing is that it was the last story to be covered. Yet right before the three commercial breaks, Cavuto would pitch the story, "Coming up, a commercials too hot for television." And right before the show would cut away to commercial break, a short clip from "Catfight" would be playing. There's a reason why this was the last story, because that was the best way to keep the viewers tuned to FOX.
This weekend, my Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game. There's a good chance that "Catfight" will air again. I hope it does, not because I want to see half-naked women wrestling in the mud, but because if Miller caves in, it will be yet another sad victory for political correctness.
Editor's Note: The above quotes were printed in a Yahoo! News article titled, "Miller Lite's 'Catfight' ad angers some viewers."