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Man Laws

This is a strange admission for me, but — geez, I can’t believe I’m saying this — I actually agree with almost all of Miller’s list of “Man Laws,” part of their newest ad campaign to persuade people that drinking Miller Lite isn’t just for kids, er … young adults, anymore. Maybe that says more about me than the Man Laws, who knows? If you’re a regular reader of the Bulletin, you know how I feel about low-calorie light beers — no sane person should drink them … ever. But I have to give Miller their props, especially after a number of ill-fated and ill-advised ad campaigns. Anybody else remember the ads by “Dick” in the late ’90s? Or the infamous Catfight? The Man Laws are at least somewhat clever. There was an interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times by Stuart Elliot all about the unusual partnership between Miller and the magazine FHM (For Him Magazine), a British men’ magazine with an American version. FHM is a men’s magazine in the mold of Maxim or Stuff, not Playboy.

Apparently in one of the new models to get advertising for major accounts, magazines are pitted against one another to come up with the concepts themselves, essentially taking on the role of advertising agency for the privilege of winning a company’s advertising. I guess that’s cutting edge and obviously winning the accounts is lucrative for the magazines, but it sure feels a little sleazy to me. I’m sure that’s my own naivete and sense of fair play, but how about these companies come up with their own ways to advertise their products?

From the Times’ article:

The FHM print campaign was selected after a competition that pitted ideas from the magazine’s ad sales department against those submitted by their counterparts at several other monthly men’s magazines. As is becoming increasingly common as magazines battle the new media for ad dollars, the FHM campaign involves elements that extend beyond prosaic ad pages.

Readers can take part in a contest on a special Web site (, to which they can upload photographs to report “violations” of the laws. The contest is also accepting entries through cellphone text messages and e-mail messages.

Here is a list of all of the current Man Laws:

Man Laws

  1. Now matter how long the trip, a man’s suitcase shall not exceed 1.8 cu. ft.
  2. No man shall own a dog smaller than a football.
  3. Under no circumstances should a man be seen wearing sunglasses indoors.
  4. Armbands, headbands and such accessories are not to leave the gym.
  5. The Wearing of socks with sandals is henceforth forbidden.
  6. At no time shall any man believe a comb-over looks good.
  7. Men pull pranks.
  8. A man shall never dance for fun unless to improve his chances of getting a girl.
  9. When swatting an insect, never do it yelling “get it off, get it off!”
  10. Regardless of how scary the ride, it is never permissible for a man to squeal.
  11. A man shall never get in his vehicle by sitting sideways and swinging both legs in.
  12. Technology that makes you look like a mumbling crazy person is not cool.
  13. You can take the last beer or the last chicken wing — not both.
  14. Acquire tans by accident, never by credit card.
  15. Regardless of the name, a man doesn’t visit a manicurist.
  16. A man may wear pink provided that he refer to it as “light red.”
  17. No man shall ever make excuses for the haircut he has been left with.
  18. Highlights are sports clips, not something you do to your hair.
  19. “Too cold” shall not cross any man’s lips on game day.
  20. All football injuries are treatable by walking it off or rubbing dirt on it.
  21. Interpretive dancing shall be reserved for weddings and touchdowns.
  22. When attending a football game, you can not wear the jersey of a former player, unless that player is retired.
  23. No man shall ever tuck a team jersey into his pants.
  24. Shirtless players shall not repeatedly post up on their defenders.
  25. A man shall not wear a full team uniform to play pickup basketball.
  26. A man shall never have two-hundred dollar basketball shoes and a three-cent game.
  27. Three or more air-balls in a game and a man shall be relegated to passing.
  28. A man shall not nag another man, but a firm stare is OK.
  29. A man must abide by the locally accepted shotgun rules; failure to do so results in automatic shotgun forfeiture.
  30. A man must attempt to stop a friend from calling his ex-girlfriend a minimum of three times, after that he’s on his own.
  31. When your friend’s girlfriend breaks up with him, she’s off limits; unless she is drop dead gorgeous, in which case you must wait six months before dating her.
  32. A man shall never use a lame pick up line.
  33. All men must possess the ability to operate a knife, either electrical or traditional.
  34. Fireworks are always in season.
  35. A man shall never pay any attention to the evenness of his tan line.
  36. In a pinch, it is perfectly acceptable for a man to commandeer female clothing for Halloween costuming purposes.
  37. Holiday decorations must absolutely, positively be taken down before spring.
  38. Crushing a beer can on your forehead is lame.
  39. A man shall never put a lime or other fruit in a beer for any reason at any time.

The best photographs depicting violations of the Man Laws are then entered into a contest, which … let’s let the Times continue explaining how it works:

In an example of the trend known as consumer-generated content, the best entries from the contest will be compiled in a 16-page booklet to accompany the May issue of FHM. For readers who cannot wait that long to learn the finer points of “man laws,” Miller Lite will be the sole sponsor of a 2007 calendar that will be included free with the January/February issue of FHM.

It’s an interesting concept and certainly better than most of Miller’s recent ad campaigns. Now if only they’d put some more effort into making some better tasting beers.

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