In 20 or 30 years, when CNN releases its inevitable seven-part mini-series about the 2010s, hopefully they’ll remember that 2019 was a fetid, smoldering hellfire. Yeah, we’re just over eight months in, but this year has absolutely sucked. In the past seven days alone, we’ve had two FDA warnings politely asking grown adults to stop drinking bleach, the spread of an incurable fungus that could be the beginning of the end of the banana as we know it, and a depressing reminder that Kid Rock still believes that he’s culturally relevant.
And now, MillerCoors has added its own entry on the Worst Timeline, promising to pay your rent for a year, assuming that you’re a “younger legal-age drinker” and that you’re willing to admit that you drink Keystone Light. The only thing more depressing than the fact that the beer giant thinks that $12,000 is enough to cover a year’s worth of rent is the fact that they know millennials are cash-strapped enough to bite on this. (Thanks for the stunted standards of living, Boomers.)
In addition to writing a $12,000 check to each of the 13 grand prize winners, Keystone Light is also giving away 150 “Adulting Transition Packs,” which each include a Keystone Light-branded inflatable chair and shower curtain, a Hawaiian shirt, and a tasteful chandelier made from Keystone Light cans. (Sorry, but a Keystone Light inflatable chair isn’t ‘adulting.’ A Keystone Light inflatable chair is what your thrice-divorced uncle pulls out of a campground dumpster, wipes down, and puts in his RV.)
“These consumers are craving financial stability, and we know from our research that housing expenses create a strain, eating up a large portion of their income,” Eric Wolfe, a MillerCoors associate brand manager said in a statement. “With our free rent program, we’re hoping to ease part of the burden to enable them to enjoy the fun things in life, like having a cold beer and celebrating with friends.”
It shouldn’t be up to a beer company to “ease the burden” on a demographic group that is undoubtedly trying to chip away at a mountain of student loan debt, wondering what it would be like to actually have a savings account, and applying for temporary gig work to go with their other temporary gig work. (But at least Keystone Life hasn’t accused twentysomethings of blowing all of their cash on avocado toast or lattes. Bless.)
Although $12,000 is a significant amount of money, as MarketWatch pointed out, it’s not enough to cover the average American’s annual rent. According to data from property rental site HotPads, the average person’s rent is around $18,360 per year—assuming that those people don’t live in a major metropolitan area. Regardless, anyone who’s over 21 and wants to give this a go can enter on the contest website or by using Snapchat to take a pic of specially branded store displays.
“As the largest and most diverse generation in history, and a plurality of our workforce, the financial health of young adults is the financial health of the nation and will dictate our shared economic future,” the advocacy group Young Invincibles wrote in its 2017 analysis of the generational declines between baby boomers and millennials.
If that’s the case, our shared economic future is screwed. But at least we’ll have those inflatable chairs.