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« Craft brewers and food trucks | Main | More fussing about beer »

Was the ad for Budweiser over the top?

Inquiring minds want to know… what did I think about the ABI Super Bowl ad “Brewed the Hard Way”?

My Super Bowl party with all my friends was going full steam ahead… composed of my dog and I watching the game with more than a few cold beers.  And then this insulting, tone-deaf, Budweiser ad.  Why I almost got the vapors!  If not for my faithful dog helping to resuscitate me with another cold beer, I might not have made it. 

(In all honesty, my dog is the biggest beer thief on the planet; turn your back for a minute and he goes from sound asleep pooch to evil beer-lapping fiend – if I had dropped from the vapors he would have first consumed my beer and then rifled through my pockets looking for the car keys.  He does leave my gin-and-tonics alone though, but not my dill pickles)

Anyhoo, I thought the ad was freaking great.  I’m surprised they ran it but I tip my hat to them for doing so.  That brand name is one of the most wide known brands in the entire world… you’ve got to leverage what you’ve got, not hide from it.  And here’s a shocker… whether it is your cup-of-tea or not, it’s a damn good, well made beer.

And tweaking – no, not twerking ;-) the craft snobs will most likely go down pretty well with anyone who might be a possible Budweiser consumer.  This country has a long and glorious history of enjoying snobs of all sorts getting taken down a peg or two.

And for the vast majority of beer consumers, they don’t know or care about ABI’s purchase of craft brewers so this “conflict” is meaningless to them.  Good god, it’s a freaking ad! 

To all the craft folks who’ve got their panties in a bundle, grow up.  Has a sense of humor been abandoned by all of you?  Many companies, Proctor and Gamble was the best at it, set one division/product line against the other all the time.    

They’d have 5 people hawking different laundry detergents to the same chain and they were told to fight for THEIR brand… and they were measured by how THEIR brand did.  If you could take space from another P&G brand for yours… you did it.  If they couldn’t fight for their brand, screw them.  This drove everyone to excellence… or the door ;-)

Brand “conflicts” are the norm when a company has similar products in various categories.  And cheering one on can have the perceived effect to some sensitive souls of “dissing” another.  So?

Just because ABI is playing in the craft world, they should be ashamed of brands like Bud and Bud Light?!  “yeah, we came to our senses… that Bud stuff is watered down crap and we’re sorry we even produced it.”  And those millions of drinkers who make them the 1st and 3rd most popular brands in the country?  “Only” about 1 out of 4 beers consumed in this country are one of those two.  Guess you folks are dumb asses.  Please.   

Was it a good ad?  I don’t know since the only accurate measure of ad effectiveness is people parting with their money and purchasing your product.  So we’ll have to wait and see. 

In addition one should be careful from confusing a well-liked ad to a good/effective ad.  We get all these spur-of-the-moment measurements of how much someone likes or dislikes an ad.  Just like focus-groups, these have almost no meaning.  Historically one of the most disliked ads in TV history, “ring around the collar” was also one of the most effective.  People supposedly found the ads offensive but they sure purchased Wisk to solve this problem. 

Will this ad sour craft brewers from considering selling to ABI?  Only the idiots. 

And of course in today’s connected, social media world this all takes on a much bigger image than is truly there.  Do not forget this point.  The illusion is much bigger than the reality.  Everyone and his dog has an opinion and they toss them about on every conceivable subject.  Ponder these stats…

Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year.

Anyone who spends too much time chasing this mirage will quickly find nothing really is at the end-of-the-rainbow.  And no matter what one does, there will be someone who isn’t happy with it and will tell the universe their opinion – like anyone is listening.  Why even little ol’ Johnny sometimes upsets a person or two ;-)

The responses I’ve read in the various trade publications seems like the beer equivalent of high school cliques on steroids.  And on second thought, that is perhaps too generous, perhaps middle school is more accurate.  I guess the vapors affect more than just me ;-)

Not to let a chance go by to kick your competitor in the groin, MC jumps into the collective outcry that beer REALLY is worth fussing over!   I can guarantee you that is the case where my dog is involved.  So MillerCoor’s tweet carries some big impact out of the 500 million sent on the same day?  Sure.  

Much ado about nothing.  A good ad from ABI for a good product.  Here’s a shocking idea… perhaps Bud can be a good beer as can Goose Island (or whatever).  They are not mutually exclusive.  It is not a zero sum game.

And in the rough-and-tumble of competition, you might consider my cheering for my team an insult to yours… get over it.

And for those who decry the ad since we should be all about “brand beer”?  That ship has sailed.  The entire regulatory structure of the 3-tier system is under attack, mostly by those inside the fort, and you worry about protecting “brand beer”?!   What planet are you on?

I see a ton of people, almost all of them craft, who clearly have no intention of supporting “brand beer”.  Where was the outcry from “the industry” when they disparage pretty much every product that isn’t theirs? 

This will be for an upcoming post but the unity of “brand beer” is long gone, the 3-tier as has operated for the last 80 years will soon be a thing of the past… and those who aren’t fighting solely for themselves will find that to be a foolish choice. 

 

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