In my previous post, I mentioned AB InBev using shady tactics top push craft breweries out of certain distributors. In that post, I mentioned the ad they aired during last year’s Super Bowl and how they inevitably would push an equally tasteless Super Bowl ad this year. Well I was right and they continued their attack on craft breweries with this terrible ad:
Now it is obvious that Budweiser is terrified of craft breweries because they are stealing market share as the popularity of craft beer grows and the public demands more flavor from their beer. Let’s break down their terrible ad.
The ad starts with the classic Budweiser Clydesdale Horses before moving to the Budweiser HQ and pump up music slowly comes in and words start popping on the screen. Saying “NOT PONIES” which I assume is a shot at Miller who recently brought back the popular pony bottles. The problem here, Budweiser used the same popular pony bottles for years through the 70s, 80s and 90s, so yes ponies.
The next word on the screen are “NOT A HOBBY”, hmmm what to say here… I brew beer as a hobby and my beer tastes better and has more flavor than Budweiser and I am not a professional with millions of dollars of equipment; so what does that say? And yes a lot of these small craft breweries which Budweiser is attacking started as a guys with hobbies, who followed their dreams and opened small businesses… which I thought was following the AMERICAN DREAM. The ad goes on by saying “NOT SMALL”, um you think? AB InBev is the largest brewing company in the entire world. Also why does it matter if a brewery is big or small doesn’t how the product taste matter more than anything else? These craft breweries all care about how their beer tastes more than how big they get.
The ad shifts to a concert and baseball game celebration where people are throwing the beer everywhere and the words “NOT SIPPED”. So Budweiser is only good for spraying all over the room and floor, but not to actually drink and enjoy. I tend to agree with that assessment, so cheers to you, Budweiser. FYI all of the quality beverages are ones that are actually sipped and enjoyed: good whiskey, fine wine, and brandy.
The ad next says “NOT SOFT” with a guy carrying a keg. What does this mean? Craft beer comes in a keg too and guess what is the same weight. The obvious inference here is all craft beer drinkers are a bunch of sissy hipsters. I am fairly certain George Wendt from Cheers would disagree as he published his book Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional’s Guide to Beer. I would also put money that a craft beer drinker could drink a Budweiser drinker under the table any day of the week.
The following statement drove me a little nuts, “NOT IMPORTED”. Now, this is correct, Budweiser itself is not imported, however AB InBev, the foreign parent company of Budweiser, is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. A majority of the 4000+ craft breweries in the US are actually headquartered in the United States and 100% of them are all “NOT IMPORTED” as well. If anything all of these craft breweries are definitely more American than you are. Budweiser.
Next up, a scene of a man getting a beer with an orange on it which he flicks off and the words, “NOT A FRUIT CUP”. Many things are wrong here, but lets start with the obvious. 99% of craft beers are not served with a fruit garnish and majority of the beers that are served with fruit are owned by Macro breweries. Now one of those beers is Blue Moon which is owned by MolsonCoors, but most of them are owned by the same guys as Budweiser… AB InBev. Some of the beers served with a fruit owned by AB Inbev include: Shock Top (Orange), Corona (Lime) and Hoegaarden (Lemon). It is mainly their own customers garnishing beer with fruit.
Next, the commercial goes on to say “NOT FOLLOWING”. What does them mean? Are they saying that craft breweries are followers? Why because craft breweries didn’t see anything out there in the market and started brewing something they liked and started selling it. If anything they are trail blazers, where as Budweiser has been pumping out the same boring product for years. Budweiser started getting beat in the market and started buying up craft breweries like Goose Island, Elysian and Breckenridge over the last 5 years and created their own sudo craft brand Shock Top. So if anything Budweiser is the follower.
The next two statements are “NOT FOR EVERYONE” and “NOT BACKING DOWN”. Now I agree Budweiser is not everyone. If you like a lighter beer with minimum flavor, Budweiser is probably for you. If you like trying new different things and a bit of adventure if probably isn’t and you would probably enjoying the wonderful world of craft beer a lot more. The second statement is fine, they don’t have to back down. They can just stand there and slowly fade into mediocrity and irrelevance
Now, I am sure they will continue with the campaign against craft breweries using ads like this and shady tactics, but so far they have failed miserably. Craft breweries continue to pop up across the United States, adding over 550 in the last year which is a 18.6% increase from the previous year. The demand for craft beer has forced bars and restaurant to put these in-demand products on taps over the likes of Budweiser. Sometime in 2016, we should see the US reach the highest number of breweries ever in this country, passing the previous height which was last hit back 1873. In 1873, local breweries and pubs were popular all across the country before Prohibition killed off all the small breweries, which couldn’t move production over to something like soda. It will be a big year for craft beer and I don’t think this commercial will make any difference on the growth and popularity of craft beer. Thanks for reading my rant. Cheers!