'No AI or CGI, just physics!': The story behind a new identity for Miller inspired by beats

Amsterdam-based Chuck Studios has unveiled a refreshing new identity for the Molson Coors brand Miller Genuine Draft, which draws inspiration from the beats of the high-energy bars and clubs where the drink is served. We discover more about how the vibrations of music that ripple through beer influenced the final work.

Chuck Studios, which classes itself as the first global food-advertising specialist, calls the work for Miller a 'culinary identity'. "It's a set of rules for the food, or in this case beer, that become proprietary to the brand and makes the product look distinctive," says its co-founder and global creative director Olaf van Gerwen. "We make the beer look unique and create consistency by examining the brand's DNA and bringing that to life. For Miller, we nailed down that identity for their products, in the same way, designers build visual identities and music agencies develop sonic identities."

Chuck worked closely with the in-house team at Miller to craft the new look, aiming to shake up the competitive category usually full of traditional depictions of beer swirling when poured – something that makes the liquid look refreshing and appealing but might lack distinctiveness in the congested space.

"That is why we joined forces with Chuck Studios," says Rebecca Mutty from Miller. "They have the unique talent to depict the product in a way that makes for visuals that are not just crave-inducing, but also disruptive and more ownable to Miller. The culinary identity work comes with clear execution guidelines to showcase our refreshingly smooth liquid in a way that truly stands out and represents the bold, urban heartbeat of our brand."

So what does this culinary identity exactly entail? And how is it unique? To capture the "brand essence", Chuck Studios leaned into the concept of music and sound. "We discovered that the music that our audience listens to, particularly the bass, creates fascinating patterns or sound waves in the beer," explains van Gerwen. "As the music hits the liquid, it causes vibrations that ripple through the beer in unique and mesmerising patterns, which we timed to always be in sync with the tempo of the music."

Cue Chuck Studios' Special Effects (SFX) Lab – brought in to create this effect by developing technology involving speakers, pneumatics, butt kickers, massage guns, and other unconventional equipment. "A complex calculation was then performed to associate frequencies with camera speeds, which enabled synchronisation of the beer movement with the music's beats per minute," says van Gerwen. "It's all real: just sound and beer. It's all physics, no CGI or AI involved." (Take a look at the video below to see it all in the flesh.)

The next challenge was to make packshots that looked just as dynamic as the product. "Miller's beer is for parties, so why keep its bottles static?" says Chuck. As such, the SFX department also developed tech to make bottles on a surface dance in sync with the music.

Finally, Chuck Studios upgraded an existing brand asset called 'The Beacon' by developing a series of bespoke camera filters. An optical engineer put translucent artefacts in glass sheets that scatter incoming light into the lens. "This creates a signature Miller look and feel by making highlights in the liquids appear like a beacon in brand colours," explains the studio.

So far, Miller's creative agency BBDO Zagreb has integrated the fresh identity in two global brand campaigns, 'Where's your Miller Time' and 'Takeover'. "If you don't show it much love, beer tends to look like…beer. We set out to disrupt that tradition and break the book of beer rules. I'm proud to say what we have implemented is as fresh as the first sip from a cold bottle of Miller," says van Gerwen.


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