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Another Round for Miller Time

One of the best known slogans in advertising is making a comeback. MillerCoors is bringing back the tagline “It’s Miller Time”, made famous in the 1970’s during its use with Miller High Life and brought back a second time for Miller Lite from 1997 to 2002.

Miller Lite
AP
Miller Lite

MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England tells the Dow Jones Newswires the company intends to boost Miller Lite’s media budget 50 percent from May through August and introduce new packaging in an effort to boost the struggling brand.

The revamped “It’s Miller Time” campaign will focus on sociability and the idea of friends getting together for a beer while getting away from the work-reward theme that initially made the tagline famous.

Speaking on the new campaign to Ad Age, England described changing the focus of the tagline as: "Evolving what it means but leveraging the fact that it's just a great saying."

The Miller Lite brand, which created the American light beer category in 1975, was originally put on the map by the slogan “Tastes Great, Less Filling,” which along with a group of well known former athletes, was used to introduce the beer.

While still the fourth-biggest beer brand in the U.S., Miller Lite has seen a decline in recent years. According to Beer Marketer's Insights, Miller Lite's market share declined to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent last year. Overall shipments dropped by 4.3 percent.

Despite the new marketing focus, the Miller Lite brand will still be leveraging its sports ties. In August, MillerCoors plans to roll out special team packaging for the 11 NFL teams the brand has a partnership with including the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

MillerCoors is a a joint venture between Molson Coors Brewing and SABMiller. Miller Lite is one of the four key brands in the Molson Coors portfolio, along with Molson Canadian, Carling and Coors Light. The four brands makeup more than 60 percent of Molson Coors's total annual profit.

Molson Coors saw success last year with the ascension of Coors Light to the number two overall beer brand in the U.S., the first time the top two spots were not held by rival Budweiser. The group is now hoping an old tagline and a new look can inject some life into brand in need of a boost.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Tom Rotunno on Twitter @tomrotunno.

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