UFC Light: Is the WEC "Great Taste...Less Filling!?"
Miller Lite's long-running "Great Taste...Less Filling!" ad campaign was ranked by Advertising Age magazine as the No. 8 best advertising campaign in history.
Ad experts had to be clever to convince a nation to sip on this newfangled concoction. Why else would a right-minded beer drinker want to drink water packaged in a beer bottle?
In 1975, the company started to heavily market “light beer” by using masculine pro sports players and other macho figures of the day in efforts to reach the key beer-drinking male demographic.
Miller Lite would become the first mainstream light beer, and in 1992 the light beer industry as a whole became the biggest beer category in America.
In mixed martial arts, you have your choice between Budweiser and Miller Lite. The UFC is the full-bodied “King of Beers” but is the WEC "Great Taste...Less Filling!?"
While the UFC showcases the behemoth in Brock Lesnar cutting weight to make the 265 pound heavyweight requirement, the WEC features a fighter in Miguel Torres who throws his fists at a sinewy 135 pounds.
But where Budweiser and Miller Lite diverge for many—on robust flavor—the lighter side of mixed martial arts may just have its full-bodied counterpart beat.
In the past year alone some of the most thrilling fights—"fight of the year" fights—have come from the WEC. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda, WEC 34; Donald Cerrone vs. Rob McCullough, WEC 36; and Mike Brown vs. Urijah Faber, WEC 41 to name just a few.
Yet despite those fights, the WEC still has its work cut out for it. It has to convince fans that its product is anything but watered down. The man heading up that advertising campaign is WEC General Manger Reed Harris.
Harris is the most accessible and straight-forward leader of an organization in all of sports. And while part of that is necessitated out of a need, it also is because he knows he has a great product—one that will easily sell itself if given half a taste.
In three weeks, Harris & Co. will get a perfect opportunity to market their sport. At WEC 42, their bantamweight champion Miguel Torres will be back in action to defend his belt for a notable fourth consecutive time.
With a 37-1 record, Torres is considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. With his combination of dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and potent Muay Thai striking, one could draw parallels to another pound-for-pound best in Anderson Silva.
His opponent at WEC 42, undefeated No. 1 contender Brian Bowles, is a scrappy young fighter who trains mixed martial arts out of the same southern town that former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin did.
Ironically Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin are fighting one day before Miguel Torres and Brian Bowles when they collide at UFC 101. With the two events stacked together in one weekend, it will be one of the biggest for the sport of MMA coming off the heels of UFC 100.
That's the sort of good fortune that must have the advertisers that put together "Great Taste...Less Filling!" smiling down on the WEC from somewhere.
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