Tag Archives: beer advertising

Bud Light toes the line between a good time and alcoholism.

If you were one of the 106.5 million people to watch the Super Bowl (largest American TV audience ever; take that, M*A*S*H series finale), chances are you saw a Bud Light commercial. Anheuser-Busch (or, rather, AB InBev) trotted out about 80 of them in part to assert its dominance on the grand stage of television advertisement but also to ring in the new Bud Light slogan, “Here we go.” My thoughts on AB’s marketing strategies are known, so it’s surprising to me that they’d go with the worst motto in history of beer.

In the spots, some guy finds out Bud Light has entered the equation somehow and exclaims “here we go,” as if a good time is imminent, like the crest of a roller coaster. Frankly, casting alcohol as a party drug the way this does is disgraceful and the implications of alcoholism are blatant. The Times reports “The idea has been to balance rational reasons for buying Bud Light, which were conveyed as product qualities under the umbrella of drinkability, with reasons that would ‘connect on an emotional level,’ (VP for marketing Keith) Levy said.” Here we go, because you can’t help it, you’re addicted. Talk about emotional.

I reproach Anheuser-Busch for highlighting the negative, consuming affects alcohol has on some. Good work, guys. And I invite you to visit my dad’s new blog on recovery and addition therapy if the topic interests you.

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AHU: Budweiser puts on a patriot act

graphic by Ben Peck

graphic by Ben Peck

Anheuser-Buscher overcompensates after merger with Belgian company InBev

How many Budweiser advertising slogans can you recall? I bet it’s at least three. To name a few, there’s “This Bud’s For You,” “The King of Beers,” the image of Clydesdale horses (even ones trained to act like Rocky), and, of course, the three frogs croaking, “Bud,” “Weis” and “Er.” The marketing wizards at Anheuser-Busch, the brewers of Bud, must be proud of the level of pop culture ubiquity that their commercials can claim; they must also be among the highest paid in the industry – and that’s the advertising industry, not just the beer world.

When a company spends so much money on advertising, every decision is made with the calculated precision of branding. In 2009, a 30-second slot during the Super Bowl, arguably Budweiser’s most effective medium, will cost an average of US$3-million. That much money makes even an absurd ad campaign – like two guys on couches yelling “Waazzaaaaaa” into the telephone – a planned investment on the part of Budweiser.

[Note: this particular advertisement has come back to haunt Anheuser-Busch in the form of an Obama ’08 support spot. The brewing company, which never bought the full rights for the concept when the original ad ran eight years ago, can do nothing but watch as the popularity of their product is used to endorse a presidential candidate.] Continue reading

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