Middlebrooks delivers the High Life to coastal Delaware
See the “Deliveryman” in action
The popular “Deliveryman” from the Miller High Life commercials brought his brand of common sense to the Cape Region for a two-day tour of area bars and liquor stores.
The deliveryman is actor Windell Middlebrooks, who first starred in the commercials in 2006. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Middlebrooks is an affable and easygoing personality, who is just as likeable in person as he is in the High Life commercials.
Getting the role of the deliveryman was a happy accident at first that has turned into something much bigger.
“I went in for a last-minute audition for it. I was out in L.A., and I was doing a day job at the time. But I got this last-minute audition, like at 11 a.m., to go in at 4 p.m. On the first time, they didn’t have us say anything; all they had us do was move beer on a hand truck, to see how natural we would look doing hard work,” Middlebrooks said. “We did about four rounds of callbacks after that. We started out with three commercials but they took off. I was just happy about the three commercials. Once they took off, they said, ‘Let’s do three more. Let’s do three more. Let’s do a tour.’”
During the auditioning process, Middlebrooks started off with only one line, “Step aside, mon ami,” but eventually he got to improvise, a skill that served him well in his most high-profile commercial to date: High Life’s “1-Second Ad,” which ran during Super Bowl 43.
The spot was as simple as it sounds: Middlebrooks quickly says “High Life!” in a warehouse surrounded by cases of Miller High Life. The one-second ad, which was filmed in tandem with a standard 30-second ad that led up to the Super Bowl, took 17 hours to shoot. A minute of outtakes from the ad can be found at Miller High Life’s page at YouTube.com
“They let me improvise. Then you also have people who were writing and coming up with stuff and just yelling stuff at me. Like stuff like ‘bean dip!’ is just something I thought of. I was thinking, ‘I just want to say bean dip.’ So, that’s how we found a lot of it. One of them, I think I’m grunting to a guitar sound. Somebody played it and said, ‘Do something!’ and I just did it,” Middlebrooks said.
The take that was eventually used was a favorite of the commercial’s producers right away, but it didn’t get selected until representatives from Miller saw it.
“I think they just liked the way we said it,” he said.
Another long-running “Deliveryman” ad took place in a skybox where Middlebrooks took back the High Life from the fans in the box and delivered it to the fans in the stands. Middlebrooks said the production crew spent a day filming the ad in Anaheim. Although most of the crowd shots were added in post-production, the skybox was a real skybox at Angels Stadium in Anaheim.
Middlebrooks was in Delaware Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14-15, as part of a lengthy promotional tour, his first ever visit to the First State. Among the stops were Atlantic Liquors and Arena’s in Rehoboth, The Greene Turtle in Lewes and Nalu and The Starboard in Dewey Beach. “I was ready to come down to the Delaware beach and just see everyone living the High Life,” he said.
The tour started out as only eight stops, and Middlebrooks said tour organizers weren’t quite sure what they were getting into with him.
“They didn’t realize I was this country bumpkin coming bouncing down the escalator talking about, ‘Let’s go! Where are we going!’” he said.
The tour has now reached over 100 appearances all over the country in the last two years.
Middlebrooks said the role has helped open other doors for him as an actor, including guest spots on “My Name Is Earl” and “Entourage” and a recurring role on The Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life On Deck.”
“It has definitely opened up doors,” he said.