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Sonic Branding Success Story: Miller Lite

An Aftertaste You Actually Want


above the benchmark for food/beverage


heard the winning logo and though of "quality"

The Objective

How do you project a feeling of “quality” in a sound? Moreover, how do you make it your own? For one of the most successful light beer brands in history, the value of capturing both of those components effectively in a sonic brand was obvious.

The sound needed to convey the idea that Miller Lite is refreshing — a hallmark of high-quality light
beer. But as the company regards its neon sign as one of its unique brand elements, they were intent on capturing that in the sonic brand as well. In addition to standing on its own, the audio logo also needed to be flexible enough to work across an array of different ad creatives.

The Approach

Like all smart marketers, the Miller Lite team looked to a combination of clever creative, developed by sonic agency The Elements Music, and data, generated by the Veritonic platform, to ensure they were brewing something that

  • Built and tested three creative variations centered around the sounds of a bottle opening (a “refreshing” sound) and a neon sign “flicker”
  • Targeting: lite beer drinkers ages 21- 40; Hispanic people, a key demographic for the brand
  • Components tested:
    • Attributes: authenticity, likability, familiarity, uniqueness and more.
    • “Refreshing” as a custom attribute
    • Recall

Our Results

Two of the three versions, both of which combine the sounds of a bottle opening and neon flickering, beat Veritonic benchmarks for the Food and Beverage sector. While neon is clearly important to
the brand, that sound on its own couldn’t carry the audio logo. Winners were considered especially authentic, familiar, and likable, and they effectively projected a “refreshing” sound. Listen to the top performer.

  • Hispanic listeners found the winner even more familiar, likable, and refreshing than the general population of light beer drinkers
  • 63% of listeners agreed that the winning logo made them think of “quality,” while only 13% thought that about the neon-only version

The winner scored:

  • 21 points above the benchmark overall (Veritonic Audio Score)
  • 28 points above the neon-only version for projecting a refreshing feeling
  • 20 points above the benchmark for recall
  • 18 points above the neon-only version for excitement; 23 points above for happiness

With clarity into the brand sound that resonates with people the best, Miller Lite rolled out the first ads that leverage the winning logo in March.

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