The Mysterious Origins Of The Miller High Life Mascot

miller high life girl in the moon glass
miller high life girl in the moon glass - Miller High Life / Facebook

It's one of the longest-lasting advertising and packaging mascots still in use today, and one of only a few ever attempted by a beer brand. However, details of the origins and inspiration for the Miller High Life "Girl in the Moon" remain shrouded in mystery. For more than a century, the self-proclaimed high-end macro-brew, touting itself as fancy and special by calling itself "The Champagne of Beers," Miller High Life's marketing has centered around an old-fashioned, vintage-looking illustration of a young, beautiful woman sitting atop a crescent moon.

While the exact depiction of the "Girl in the Moon" or the "High Life Girl" has changed and been updated periodically over the decades, the advertising character has remained reliably similar — a woman relaxes on a sliver of moon, dressed in an elaborate costume of a circus performer, proffering to the consumer a glass of bright and bubbly Miller High Life. There's a fascinating psychology behind how such food mascots work, and this one has been quite successful for the Miller Brewing Company. The "Girl in the Moon" is one of the most iconic food mascots of all time, so who inspired the figure, if anyone? And why is she dressed that way, and drinking on the moon? It's all part of beer company legend, and here then is a look into how the Miller High Life mascot was created.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

The Miller High Life Mascot Is Almost As Old As The Beer Itself

miller high life girl in the moon
miller high life girl in the moon - Crazy4Beer / YouTube

Miller High Life first hit stores in December 1903. Since that launch came right before the party-centric holiday of New Year's Eve, the brewery called the new product "Champagne of Bottle Beer," a predecessor to its later slogan "Champagne of Beers." The very first ads for Miller High Life depicted what amounts to a rough draft of the "Girl in the Moon" — a woman standing atop a crate of Miller High Life bottles holding a tray of the beer. The illustration implied the woman was some kind of circus performer because of her colorful clothes and accessories, like a top hat and whip, befitting those of a ringmaster.

After successfully making inroads into the beer marketplace, Miller altered its High Life character into the first iteration of the one recognizable today. In 1907, the crate-stepping ringmaster became the "Girl in the Moon." She was dressed in a giant, wide hat and a red and yellow striped dress, sitting on a crescent moon amidst a cloudy, starry night sky and toasting an unseen figure with a small glass of what's presumably Miller High Life.

There May Or May Not Be A Real Girl In The Moon

miller high life girl in the moon icon at miller brewery
miller high life girl in the moon icon at miller brewery - Nina Alizada/Shutterstock

According to corporate lore from Molson Coors (the contemporary firm that oversees the Miller Brewing Company), the brewery's early-20th-century head of advertising conceived of the "Girl in the Moon" while communing with nature. During a walk in the forested Northwoods region of Wisconsin, A.C. Paul may or may not have gotten lost (depending on the internal source), and inspired by the starry nighttime sky, was struck by a vision of what he wanted for a looming marketing launch. And that vision was of an ethereal woman, looking down and out from the moon.

Based on Paul's ideas and instructions, Illinois-based artist Thomas Holmes devised the first sketches of the "Girl in the Moon." What remains unknown — if any young woman alive in the Midwest in the early 20th century modeled for the advertising campaign. Several company insiders have suggested a number of candidates, but there's no conclusive proof that it was any of them or anyone at all.

Miller occasionally changed the look of the character before ultimately getting rid of it, only to permanently restore the "Girl in the Moon" to packaging in 1998. She remains an enigmatic relic of the company's history and the brand's birth.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal